Pre-Home-Inspection Excitement: Fire!

So, we have home inspection and appraisal today. And we wrote an offer on another place last night. And yesterday afternoon a fire broke out in the alley and our garage started on fire.

No, I'm not kidding. St. Nick was playing outside with Fish (digging for worms - I know, exciting), and I heard him opening the back door. I got up thinking I'd have to quick get them to take their muddy shoes off, but they got quiet, like they were going back to play. But then St. Nick started yelling Fire! Fire! Fire! And I hurried out intent on telling him not to cry fire when there's no emergency. Only I looked out the back door and saw FLAMES!!!! Quite a lot of them right at the back corner of the garage.

After calling 911 I saw that the wind was blowing the fire away from the garage, thank heavens, but that if it shifted, the whole thing could go up. The boys asked, "What can we do?!" and I said, "Pray the wind keeps blowing the flames away from the garage!" So they started praying, but after another minute without hearing sirens and watching the flames lick the side of the garage every time the wind slowed, I went in and grabbed our kitchen fire extinguisher and tried to spray it from the side of the garage first, but the smoke drove me back. Then I went in the garage (terrifying St. Nick - he thought I was running into a burning garage, which I suppose I was), and then out in the alley where a neighbor had gotten his garden hose and was trying to hit the flames with that while I emptied the fire extinguisher on the flames closest to the garage/on the corner of the wood. Then the fire dept. showed up and put out the rest. Excitement!

They think someone walking in the alley tossed a cigarette in the bushes beside the garage. The garage itself only sustained a tiny bit of damage. And great timing, right as our Realtor was showing up with the "Sale Pending" sign under her arm and the day before inspections.

I don't want to think what could have happened had St. Nick not been out there or had we been away from home. Yikes! Poor St. Nick was beside himself last night, terrified that a forest fire would break out (the house we made an offer on is the one in a wooded area) or that the house would start on fire or or or ...

The most reassuring truth of all for both St. Nick and myself: there is One in control of the winds - winds that truly did not shift and kept our garage from sustaining more than minor, mostly cosmetic damage.