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Where’s The Fire?

Let’s face it.

We all have fears.

Some are justifiable fears.

And others?

Not so much.

My fear of fire stems way back to my childhood when I was about five or six years old. When I was a little girl before I could go to bed, I packed up all of my favorite things and placed them neatly inside of a milk crate. I am not even joking when I tell you that I slept holding onto that milk crate full of my beloved items. I performed this ritual every single night – just in case – there was ever a fire and I was forced to run out of the house. I was fully prepared to save my most cherished belongings.

Now, I have never been in a fire. Nor have I even been close to a fire. But for some reason, I have spent my life overly concerned with the threat of a fire. And I have no idea why.

Maybe my fear of impending fire comes from all of those ‘Smokey The Bear’ commercials that used to be on television? Or maybe it’s because of all the ‘Fire Drills’ we used to have in school? Or maybe, I am just crazy? But whatever the reasons may be, I am STILL extremely cautious when it comes to an open flame, or anything remotely fire-related. And it’s kind of becoming problematic.

And here’s why….

It’s been unusually cold around here. Like unbelievably and unnecessarily cold. Like -10 degrees kind of cold. As such, we’ve had our heat running 24 hours a day. That normally wouldn’t be a problem, except that I’ve also had an awful case of insomnia for well over three weeks now. And if you combine a sleep-deprived person, with a side of crazy and Arsonphobia, it’s not a very pretty picture. And last night was no exception.

I was laying in bed praying to the sleep god’s for mercy. I even turned off the television in hopes of falling into a deep slumber. But every time I heard the furnace kick-on, I immediately imagined every possible worst case scenario. Why? Because I am completely paranoid the furnace will suddenly explode, without warning, and we’re all going to die a fiery death.

I spent several hours, intensely listening, and obsessing, over every sound emanating from the hallway while wondering: Can a furnace just ignite abruptly? Is that even possible? What’s that noise, and is that normal? Why does the furnace sound so angry? And then I drove myself right into a case of the cold sweats, because after living here for THREE YEARS, it suddenly dawned on me that if our furnace really did explode? My grandfather, my son, and I, would be TOTALLY TRAPPED. With no way out.

See diagram below….

Clearly, the way my house is designed – they placed the furnace in a dangerous location. And, I should also probably mention that our bedrooms are located on the second floor, so jumping out of the window would not be a viable option.

Of course that realization sent me into a full-blown nervous, anxious, wreck. In fact, I was so worried I became panic-stricken. I jumped out of my bed, raced over to my computer and immediately Googled: ‘Emergency Fire Escape Window Rope Ladders’. And then I ordered three of them. But that wasn’t good enough. Nope. Because those rope ladders aren’t going to do me any good until they get here. And as far as I was concerned, we could have been in immediate danger.  So, I continued imagining my family engulfed in flames before I decided I needed to take matters into my own hands. And here’s when ya’ll find out exactly just how crazy I really am.

I crept downstairs as quietly as possible, and grabbed the extra Fire Extinguisher from the garage. Now properly armed to fight a fire, I brought it back to my bedroom, and I slept with it.


It’s official.

I’ve lost my mind.

I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the ‘Men In White Coats’ come to take me away.

So, what are some of YOUR fears?

And do any of those fears actually keep you up at night?

Or am I the only one?

*PS: If anyone else is still having comment issues, please email me. I think the problem has been fixed.

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  • No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • My heart goes out to you.

  • This sleep depravation is slowly killing me!

  • No! You never told me THAT story. And please DON’T!
    Ill never be able to shower without worrying about spiders!

  • Jay of the Depp Effect

    Ha! I do exactly the same as you! I lie awake listening to the boiler (furnace) making all these angry sounds and then I think ‘I don’t think I’ve heard that particular noise before … ‘ and I imagine it means it’s going to explode/leak carbon monoxide/burst into flames .. or possibly all three. Then of course I start to wonder how I’m going to get us all (and Sid) out in time, where we would go all dressed in our nightwear in the middle of winter and what Very Important Things I’m going to feel impelled to rush back indoors to save. By the time I’ve got to ‘handbag, passport (oh to heck with it, let’s make it the whole personal boxfile), credit cards, passport, Sid’s coat and tags, my signed Johnny Depp pressbook and my laptop, sleep has escaped out of the window and is running off into the distance.

    Now, we have a fireproof safe, for the important documents, but we don’t have a fire extinguisher!! NOW how am I supposed to sleep tonight?

    Good grief …

  • Woman, you better get yourself a fire extinguisher!
    Or much like me, you may NEVER sleep again!

  • Sandra

    First of alll, great diagram!
    And second of all, we may just have the same brain. Give it back! I have yet to go to bed with the fire extinguisher, but when I was younger, I used to sneak downstairs and check around the furnace every night to make sure nothing was touching it! Not sure what I thought would happen, but something akin to an explosion possibly. So no, I don’t think you’re crazy. Not at all…plus I think you are the most delightful woman!

  • Awwww! Sandra. You’re the best.
    Now I feel MUCH better.
    I am glad I am not the ONLY person here who is obsessed with a furnace!

  • dcr

    I worry about fires too. I don’t sleep with a fire extinguisher, but I keep my computer handy and ready to take out the door. Oh, and I do have a fire-proof safe. Most people keep money in a safe. Not me. I keep my writing projects in there.

  • Yep. I’d save my computer and everything I’ve ever written too.
    AFTER I get my son out of the house.

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