Cops, and Coughs, and Kitchen Fires.

8:50:00 AM

First, I’ve got to tell you, the following story is true.  Every word.  Despite any feeling to the contrary – this is a true account of the last two days.
I’ll start at the beginning – since that’s really when it all began sloping down hill.  Monday morning at 1 AM, I was awakened by the sound of my darling husband calmly explaining that our eldest daughter had become sick – and it was all over the carpet in the hallway upstairs.  (I’ll not go into details – as this event was already chronicled in a previous blog post here.)
After finally crawling into bed around 2 AM, we woke all the kids at 6:30 to get ready for school.  The rest of Monday was pretty uneventful – by normal standards anyway.  Elizabeth and Ali and I cleaned the house upstairs – sanitized the bathroom and carpets, and played a very rousing game of pickup sticks.  Then we went back to get the kids from school.
It wasn’t until after dinner that I really sat down to work on my computer and get some website development done for a client of mine.  I turned on the machine.  It sat.  It sat some more.  It showed the windows glowing orb thing, and then it crashed.
Okay – so we try and restart it several more times to no avail.  In frustration, (and possibly out of complete insanity…I’m not sure) I decided to recondition my computer back to factory settings.  Three hours later – I was back up and running.  I got to bed around 1 AM.
3:30 – Jesse wakes up coughing.  You know the kind of cough that makes you think that your child is never again going to be able catch their breath?  The deep barky-seal with air gasps in between type of cough?  Ya, that would be the one.  I lept out of bed and ran to him.  An hour later, he’s soothed, but there’s no way he’s going to school in the morning.  (But MOOOOm….it’s SOLID COLOR day at school!  Gotta love spirit week…and he was going to wear his favorite orange shirt and shorts.)
No problem.  I promise fun activities at home. (be careful what you promise your kids…for you literary majors – this is what writers like to call foreshadowing…I like to call it a cruel joke.) That appeased him. He’s better now.
We drop off the kids…We get home.  I get to work finishing the client newsletter….10:45 -
What the…was that what I think it was???
Ten minutes later – yep – Helicopters, police cars, fire trucks…you name the emergency response vehicle – it was here, on my street.  I call Ammon…I tell him I have no idea what’s going on, but there are all sorts of cops swarming the neighborhood.
I smell smoke.
It smells faintly like burning plastic and electrical – kind of like when a plastic spoon falls on the heating element in the dishwasher…
I look at the dishwasher – it’s in a rinse cycle – smell isn’t coming from there.
I turn around.
My food dehydrator has a faint wisp of smoke coming from it.
I grab the plug and unplug it.  So much for my lemon slices…Ammon will have to look at it when he gets home.  It’s probably something silly.  It’s a brand new dehydrator – maybe it’s just because it’s in it’s second use – and new things always give off a plastic-y smell when they are being used the first few times…
Back to my newsletter.
Two minutes later….
The entire kitchen is full of black smoke and every single smoke alarm in the house is going off.
I run into the kitchen.
The food dehydrator is IN FLAMES.  Five foot tall, licking-the-ceiling-type of flames.
I run over to the patio door, and throw it open, fling the curtains back (knocking them off of the rod and onto the kitchen floor) and run back to the dehydrator.  I then carry it outside --- fully engulfed in flames.  (yes, I realize this was not the smart way to move a burning appliance…I realize that NOW.)
I put the dehydrator down in the middle of the yard, and run in the house to get a cup of water.
The only thing I can find is Ali’s small water cup.  I fill it up with four ounces of water and run it out to the appliance fire…which has now attracted the attention of the helicopter in the area.
I’ve thrown open all the doors and windows, ushered the kids out to the front yard (out of the now completely-filled-with-smoke house) and continue back to the back yard again with another four ounces of water to put out the fire.
*insert sound of helicopter blades here*

“Return to your home.  Please lock your doors.  There is a suspect in the area and he is considered armed and dangerous
The police above my head are shouting orders through some sort of helicopter PA – and it’s telling me to return to my home…
I can’t!!  My KITCHEN IS ON FIRE!!!!
There is a guy cleaning the carpet next door, and he comes to see if he can help me.  I suppose he could see the smoke billowing out of the house, and could hear the fire alarms.  He probably also wondered why there were three little kids in their PJ’s on the front porch and a crazy lady running around with small cups of water…but that’s just speculation.
I finally get the fire put out.  I get the house aired out enough to allow the kids back in.  I leave all the windows open, but close and lock the doors.
Jesse looks at me – the smoke has really irritated his lungs again.  He starts coughing.  This time, he coughs so hard he loses the entire contents of his stomach.  At least this time, it wasn’t on the carpet.
No surprise that I had a major headache by the time Ammon finally got home – but still had work to complete for my client newsletter.  Ammon helps to get the kids to bed – and then leaves to go play volleyball…I wasn’t thrilled, I wanted him home to help calm me down…but by the time he finally left and kids were in bed, I had some time to think about the work I had to do.
Did I work?  No, not right away.  I sat in the middle of my family room floor and reflected on the day.  And then I laughed.  There’s no way that this actually happened.  I had to have dreamt it all.
Here’s the news story from Fox 10 on the police activity – it was a homeowner who shot at four attempted burglars.  At the time of the police search it wasn’t clear if the burglars were armed or not – hence the intense search and attempt to keep people in their houses.

And – here’s the photographic evidence of the dehydrator.
BTW – when I asked for a refund on the machine, they said they had to talk to a manager.  They weren’t sure what the refund policy was on something like this…ummm…helllooooo- it caught on FIRE!  I think that almost ALWAYS constitutes REFUND…but that’s just me.

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