Sunday, 28 December 2008

Studio II ... the unthinkable ...

July 6, 2008 we were going to bed and heard a crackling.

When we went outside smoke was pouring out of the pass-through from the little summer kitchen off my quilting studio. Our hard wired smoke alarm didn't function ... it turned out that it hadn't been connected to the main panel. However, it did cancel our phone line. We used our cell phones to call 911. A torch of flame was coming out of a small hole. I shoved a hose in and heard steam as the water hit the fire and a short time after the crackling stopped and the fire dept. arrived.
I told them there was a cat inside - I could tell that there was little hope. I told one of them that it was my quilting studio. He said, "Don't worry, my mom is a quilter ... I'll get the quilts out. And ... they did!The nightmare of the night really had happened. The fire chief said it was 1200 degrees on the ceiling and then he asked how much water I had put on the fire. I drew a blank. And then, I remembered the hose. He said that the steam and lack of oxygen had put the fire out.

The little kitchen off my studio looked like this when I opened the door in the morning. This is the back of the door. The culprit was a old stove that started the fire and a nearby butter dish that fuelled the fire.The plastic on the microwave melted and the bread turned to charcoal.The upper half of the room was torched. Amazingly, the lower shelf was not even smoked. The reason we were using this little kitchen was that the kitchen in the house was torn apart. All our kitchen essentials were on shelves in the studio.Two paintings inside the front door looked damaged beyond recovery. The top one is a watercolour I painted from the shore of Saltspring Island and the bottom one is painted by my grandmother on the shore of Lake Superior.The firemen had shot water along the one wall before they realized there was no actual fire in the room. It is unbelievable how smoke can penetrate. The air pressure builds in a contained area. We had just put new windows in a few weeks earlier. The firemen said without the double windows, the old single panes would have blown out ... allowing air to feed the fire. This is a plastic cover for the double tube florescent lights, melted into a blob.I was numb ... it was unreal. An army of people came and loaded up everything from needles to sewing machines ~120 boxes and a pile of NR (non-restorables).The restoration people assured me that they would build me a new studio and make everything better!
We were left with a picnic table, refrigerator, toaster, coffee pot and a microwave. Thank god no-one was injured. Thank goodness the main house was untouched. The rest is just 'stuff'.

1 comment:

Old Boar said...


Glad to hear that the restoration work is done.

Hope you have not lost creative work.