Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FIRE Brings life to a screeching hault.

Sunday Night 12-19-2010 Update on my Progress:

Well it's been a long week... but I have to tell you that I have felt SO LOVED this week. The love from my friends, co-workers, employer, and family has been so great that it nearly completely over shadows my loss. Don't get me wrong, I will probably always mourn a little for the passing of my Kitties (commonly referred to as "The Kids.") but I no longer feel at all bad about having to start over with my "stuff."

I have been back to my Apartment several times this week, to show people, have my oak bedroom set pulled out for cleaning, etc. Each time I look around and for the most part don't care about the "stuff" although I did find my High School Diploma, decided to keep that, and I found the baby blanket my parents brought me home in, decided to try and wash that. Also will probably keep a sketch book I had when I was 7 or 8 years old that is a tad water damaged, but I always wanted to keep it for the Someday when I have my own kids. I also had a mental flash to Sheri running towards me to say "hi"... it was an image that stuck with me for the whole day and made me sob when I got some time alone.

My parents came home tonight, safely, and had a wonderful trip, and they actually took the news very well all things considered. I'm so pleased because I was probably stressing more about telling them what happened than just about anything else all week.

I go back to my apartment tomorrow to watch all my old earthly belongings be tossed into the dumpster and I will look forward to the future.

Thank you to my employer and co-workers for your generous support, I look forward to returning to work on Tuesday.

Thank you to my Ballroom friends for being there and being generous beyond words.

Thank you to my neighbors for being my most awesome neighbors the past 6 years and for checking in with me daily this week... we'll be neighbors again soon!

Thank you to all my parent's friends and my readers for your kind words and offers of support while I rebuild.

It's not over yet, but the biggest part is past... and we dust off and move forward.


Hi Dear Readers-

I had intended to write after Ohio, I had intended to do a lot of things... but what I'm doing now is telling you about something a lot of you have been asking about.

On Monday December 13th I left for work at 9:42am I arrived at work, ran back out to my car with a co-worker to get a beverage I didn't want to freeze... I was back at my desk and preparing for my next meeting or shift on HelpDesk when I got the following call from my neighbor:

Neighbor: "Kat please pick up, you have to get home... please pick up."

Kat: "I'm here I'm here...what am going on??"

Neighbor: "You have to come home right now your apartment is on fire."

Kat: "Ok... um...did someone call 911??"

Neighbor: "911 is here...just come home."

Kat: "Ok... I'll be there"

I didn't really wait for my manager to say anything... one of my co-workers asked if everything is ok... I said no my apartment is on fire... she asked if it was the building or mine... I said mine and ran out the door as my Manager said something about everything being covered.

On my way to my car I called my neighbor back and said "You tell them about the cats... please please tell them about my cats!"

On my way home (I live about 15 min from the office) I also called my sister and told her that I may need her help later...

I arrived to my street... and there were emergency personnel everywhere! I had to park about half a block away.

I walked up to the first police car I saw

"Excuse me I live in that building... (I couldn't see my apartment just yet)"

"You should talk to the officer down there... I'm not sure which apartment it is"

I was getting scared

"Ok... thank you" and I made my way to my building...

As my apartment came into view... my worst fear realized.... my front door was wide open, my blinds looked all melted and twisted... and firemen were all over the place...

I saw a fireman...

"That's my apartment... did you find the cats? If it's not too bad in there I can tell you where they are hiding!!! Please tell me you found the cats!"

"Ok come with me, you have to talk to animal control about the cats...I don't know... but come here... careful of the ice (the water from the hoses had already frozen... it was only 10F outside)."

The fireman held my arm as we walked... I didn't fight him on it... but I felt plenty strong... I told him I live here I know how dangerous the ice gets.

I was introduced to the officer as I noticed a lot of my neighbors standing just staring up at the back of my apartment... I saw some things burnt to a crisp in my courtyard... undoubtedly from my apartment.

The officer and I went into the laundry room of the building next to mine, while the firefighter went to find Animal Control. I told the officer my morning activities and then the Animal Control officer came in to the room. She was a very kind looking woman.

"Hi.... I'm sorry to tell you, they didn't make it..." she said in a very kind voice.

"OH NO!!!!" I howled... It must have been the worst sound I'd ever made in my life I immediately started crying and said something about my babies...the Animal Control officer tried to tell me they didn't suffer...She asked me where my vet was.. I told her through tears... she said she would take care of the transport for me... we hugged.... I then had to find my Neighbor mom immediately... I left the room and there my Neighbor mom was with a big hug... another neighbor also there with a big hug... and I was then pulled into my Neighbor mom's apartment to warm up and relax a little.

My sister called, she had left work and asked me where I sister was on site.... by this time most of the emergency vehicles had left and things were starting to quiet down a little. I was moving into "what now mode" I wanted to know what I needed to do... I decided that I would call my insurance agency State Farm and begin to file the report.

After talking to several people, and things dying down I was then allowed into my apartment to grab what necessities I needed... My sister and I went in with garbage bags we found in a laundry room and I grabbed what I thought was important... my "clean clothes" from the hamper I knew was clean... not even thinking that the smoke damage was too great to save them... my laptop..That was far away from the epicenter of the kitchen...I asked the fire investigator if it would be worth grabbing... he said it might be ok... again... I wasn't thinking of the stink and black soot that covered it.

I then spent some time in the kitchen with a fire investigator... who pointed out that it appeared to be in the wall of the kitchen where everything happened... they asked me what I kept in my kitchen drawers...what I had plugged in... When was the last time I made coffee... they noted that all the knobs on my stove were in the off position... I had spent most of this past weekend out of my apartment at a ballroom event and taking care of my mom and Sister's dogs.... I hadn't used anything cooking wise since Friday....

Below are pictures I took as I went in one last time to grab my phone chargers from my bedroom... my two little phone chargers... which I have cleaned with a disposable wipe... have stunk up my parents large master bedroom. (I'm staying in my parent's room as they are on vacation until Sunday... if you know them DO NOT TELL THEM.. my sister and I will tell them when we pick them up from the airport on Sunday... we will NOT.. I repeat NOT ruin the vacation they are on.

I went to my parent's house with my sister... we decided to shower and have a late lunch... I had a minor melt down... I couldn't shower... I didn't have anything to change into... I didn't have any shampoo, no hairbrush... no underwear... nothing... I did manage to find an OLD robe I used to wear in High School... I wore that after my shower until the only clothes I had were done washing... we then decided to immediately go to get me Toiletries and a few outfits so I could at least have something.

The belongings in my world can now be contained in 5 small plastic the kind you get at the grocery store... that is a very trippy feeling.

I will randomly think of something about my Kitties that I will miss and start crying.... I will then stop... and everything will appear fine... that is my way of coping.

If you pray...please pray for my kitties Sheri and Wyo so that they may continue to rest in peace... I miss my furry angels.

I have received an outpouring of support... to the level you would not imagine... for which I am VERY thankful... Everyone is offering to help. I have come up with a few ways for you to help if you would like... and I thank you very much in advance...

If you would like to send a gift card to a store like Target, Wal-mart, Trader Joe's, Albertson's (Jewel), Safeway (Dominick's) for food and other sundries please e-mail me at so that I can provide you with contact information/address. If you would like to help me rebuild my wardrobe I shop at Lane Bryant and Avenue.

If you would like to donate to an animal shelter in your area in the names of Sheridan and Wyoming you can go to if you live in North America, find a shelter by zip code and contact them.

I have to go to my apartment with the cleaners just now to asses if anything is salvageable... I will post pics after that.

Rest in Peace Wyoming 7/1/2005-12/13/2010

Rest in Peace Sheridan 7/1/2005-12/13/2010
Thank you all for your support!!!
The Epicenter My stove was under the lights witch and there used to be countertop and drawers in that corner
My stove, all knobs in the "off" position.
Kitchen items tossed out to the courtyard below.
Bedroom, the stove would be about 2ft behind me normally...Wyo was on the bed.
The living room, if you look ALL the way on the left you'll see the spot on my desk where my laptop used to be. The cleaner said the smoke damage on a scale of 1-10 is a solid 7 Most of my stuff is toast.

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