Post # 1
…and now I can’t stop shaking.
Almost two years ago now, on Good Friday, my college apartment I shared with three roommates burned down with the complex at 3am because of a meth lab a neighbor had. We were playing board games with friends and my Fiance (then boyfriend) while two roommates went to bed and i fell asleep on the couch in their company. I awoke to my friends freaking out about the complex hallways filled with black smoke. The 9 of us ran out into 14 inches of snow onto my balcony, and I ran back in to rescue my pet rat and my roommates two cats. We then climbed down from our 3rd story balcony and watched the place burn to ashes. We lost everything. No rental insurance, no change of clothes, luckily a purse or two with our car keys. It was single handed the most frightening day of my life.
And now, everytime a smoke alarm goes off, my heart nearly bursts and I’m sent back into that scene. I still have nightmares.
So today, my smoke alarm in my apartment went off while I was showering. I almost fell out of the shower and my pets started freaking out. I ran around to see what was on fire and when I realized it was only the steam that set it off because i left the bathroom door open, i tried for 5 screeching minutes to turn off the alarm and now I can’t stop shaking. This always happens when I’m alone and all I think is “how in the world would I get my two cats, my parrot and my dog out if this place actually did catch fire?”
Post # 3
Awe I am sorry that sounds like a horrifying experience and I understand why alarms would make you nervous.
Post # 4
You poor thing!! I can’t imagine going through that, and I totally get why your smoke alarm would be so scary for you! (((HUGS)))
Post # 5
I’m sorry you got freaked out! I understand it though with that experience you had before.
Post # 6
How terrifying! I think what you’re experiencing is a normal reaction to a horrifying experience.Just as a side note, have you considered seeing a counselor about this? Because the nightmares you’re having coupled with the reaction to the smoke alarm sound a lot like post traumatic stress disorder (FI has it). Seeing someone could help, especially with the nightmares.
Post # 7
It may sound awful how I did it but a few years ago our fire alarm went off in our condo at 3am. I happened to get a concussion a few hours earlier (got tossed from a horse I was training) so I may not have been thinking straight but when the alarm went off I rolled my daughter (4 at the time), two pups, and my cousin’s cat I was fostering all into my comforter and carried them to my car. I was barefoot and there was snow on the ground but at least I got them all out quick and safe. Sounds awful that I just rolled them all up like a burrito together but it worked!
Post # 8
@misshelen, i have considered it. ive known since the incident that i need it, just never did anything about it. i really think i’m going to look into it more seriously because it does seem to control me at times.
@shaema, i would do the exact same thing, concussion or not, because i know that it takes only a few minutes for smoke and fire to effect someone or seriously injure them. it’s crazy what adrenaline will make you do. when i grabbed my pet rat, i pulled a knitted hat from my dresser drawer and picked her up to keep her in there. when I went back into the smokey apartment to grab the cats, they ran under my roommates queen size bed, and i somehow pushed up the mattresss with one hand, held it up with my head and grabbed both cats and shoved them into a cat carrier. you don’t think, you just react. it’s insane!
Post # 9
Aww 🙁 That’s such a terrible thing to go through,
Remember, fire alarms are programmed to go off at the first sign of a fire… not when there’s a full blown fire, in order to give you time to evacuate your house.
Go out and buy a couple fire extinguishers… it could help you feel a little bit safer knowing that there’s something you can do to help stop a fire if one starts.
My father is a fire fighter and so all of the fire alarm rules have been drilled into my head since an early age… so just remember the basics! Set up a plan and a meeting place in case of an emergency, and keep animal crates in an easy-to-get-to area.
I hope you feel better! xoxo
Post # 10
Totally get why its scary. What a horrible experience, of course there’s trauma there. I’m definitely an advocate for talking to someone about it (aside from us) You don’t want to always be in a panic if a fire alarm goes off. Especially because those things go off for no reason all the time!
Post # 11
OMG that is terrible! Thankfully you all got out okay! It must be awful losing all your belonging and almost your life! Did your crackhead neighbor ever have anything happen to them? They should have to pay for all the items lost in the fire! That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard all day!
Take care of yourself!! I hope you feel better:)
Post # 12
Oh you poor thing! I would definitely think about trying to talk to someone. I can’t imagine going through something like that. Definitely scary.
Side note—do you have renters insurance now? I know that doesn’t take care of losing what you did and the attacks you have now though, but for your possession to not have to replace them again out of pocket.
Post # 13
Wow. I’m so glad you guys made it out okay and I’m sorry that you have nightmares, etc about it (especially around this time of year).
My Fiance is a Fire Marshal and we always have a plan of attack in case there is a fire. And whenever he’s out of town at a seminar, etc he religiously goes over the plan which in turn gives me anxiety because I worry about getting to our pets (our room on 3rd level, pets on 2nd/1st at night). But it’s better to be safe then sorry.
Also, make sure you have a ladder (fire ladder) if you’re on any floor other than the first. Store it close to your window(s).
Unplug any plug that is NOT being used. Fiance had to drive this point home to me but now it’s habit. When I’m at my parent’s house I go around unplugging things that really don’t need to be plugged in. It drives them nuts but hey, I’m also saving them money, right?