Thursday, May 12, 2005

Woken at 2am by the Smell of Smoke

Here's the thing - only two people live in this house, and neither of us smoke. So, when at 2 ish this morning I smelled smoke, I got curious.

So I sniffed DH quite thoroughly - it wasn't him. He did smell kinda funky, but not smoky funky. Okay, out of bed, sniffing my way around the room (picture a rat in a maze, sniffing its way to the food). Nope, not any candles lit. Nope, none of the plugged in stuff giving off electrical fire smells. But hey, the smell is really strong at the open window - so, the source of the smoke must be outside. Great! I can go back to sleep and not worry. Back into bed. Tossing, turning. Almost asleep and then - man, the smoke is getting heavier. Substantially.

Back out of bed. Robe on, search the house (back to rat-like sniffing my way in the dark). Nothing. Checked out all windows - no obvious fires, no evidence of backyard barbeque type fires either. Humm. Okay, clothes on (DH still sleeping soundly, I'm on my own here), hat on (bed head really scary), now sniffing around outside in the dark. Startled a deer that was standing in the middle of the street out front (couldn't decide which way to go??). Around back. Ooooh, smoke is smelling stronger here. On the patio RIGHT OUTSIDE MY STUDIO WINDOW it is really really really strong! Ohmygawd - there is a fire right outside my studio!

Three really large (and heavy) buckets of water later, it is out. Apparently, the friend we had over for dinner last night, a smoker, decided to butt his after dinner cigarette in a planter box full of peat moss. Yup. Not terribly bright. It must have smoldered all evening, then finally got into burn mode in the deep of night. The planter box is toast (burned through one side), there is soggy peat moss all over the gravelled section of the garden, and I have soaked down the wooden patio boards and the side of the house. The smoke is still lingering under the balcony, so the smell is really strong, but all embers appear to have been extinguished.

What really scares me is this - I am a very poor sleeper, so sometimes take a sleeping pill to help me stay asleep. What might have happened if I had done that tonight? I won't dwell on it, but let's just say we will be adding extra smoke detectors this week. And DH would have slept through the entire thing, except for me yelling about not being able to find the big bucket, and where the #@%* do we keep the hose. In fact he is already snoring again. Sigh. So now I will sit and blog, and every half hour go out and do the sniff and poke test to make sure that we, and my studio, are safe.

And the guest we had over tonight that inadvertently started the fire? Let's just say he will be provided with an ashtray, but asked to go out to his vehicle to smoke from now on. We will no longer be a "go ahead, you can smoke on the patio" kind of household. Not so long as my fabric stash might be in jeopardy. Nope. Never again.

7 comments:

Elle said...

Whew! I'm glad it ws nothing worse and you figured it out!

Scrapmaker said...

Thank God you figured it out... very scary what ifs. Jen

deb said...

I hope you are not going to have to wash everything in your stash! Now I need to replace the batteries in our smoke detectors.

Gerrie said...

I have a very sensiitive sense of smell. I smell smoke and my husband thinks I am loco. Glad you had your sense of smell on high alert!

Logan said...

Deb - no fabric washing required. Why? Because DH and I bought a house a little bigger than we really needed (the price and location were perfect, and I knew I would find use for the extra rooms eventually), so my Studio is one room, and my stash has its own room (known as Fabricland, or the Place All Our Money Goes).

And now, I have true anecdotal evidence that proves having a Fabricland was smart, smart, smart. I love my house! I love my stash! Well, hell, I love my life! Gonna go create, now. Toodles.

slogan said...

At least your smoke problem came from a source other than your cooking. For the past 30 years of our marriage I've regularly heard dear hubbie come home and say, "What's burning?"

Floozina said...

Well I am very new to this blogging stuff, but this story touched me so here goes ....
During the past year or so we have been extending and renovating our 1930-vintage house, including a separate building for my studio, aka Cave. One evening, not very far into the whole process we were in the midst of my husband's favourite telly program, when suddenly he jumps up and races out. Comes back and says, no problem, just thought I could smell smoke. No problem! Yikes. About 10 minutes later, repeat performance, and he yells at me to call the builder. Apparently the roof is on fire. I call the firemen - in this town, they are all volunteers, but here they come less than 5 minutes later. The builder also arrives, and it is all hands on deck. Thank heavens for thinking firemen, as these guys decided that they could deal with this one using the garden hose, whereas their hose would have destroyed the whole house and everything in it. Eventually, no more fire, everyone goes home, reasonably happy ... but all night long, guess what both of us can smell? Yep, fire. And sad to say, we still can!