Motivated by General Geekery

Leanna’s View of the Fire

Written By: der5er - Apr• 14•09




For those who are new around here, you should know that our family survived a house fire in December 2006.  That is important to know for this post.

Leanna had a narrative writing assignment at school.  The class was instructed to write about their most important day.  Here is what she wrote:

Everything seemed normal, nothing out of the ordinary. I proceeded with my habitual bed time routine. Christmas lights glimmered outside my window as I slowly closed my eyes. The next day, rather than the typical sunshine shining in my window, I woke up to my worst nightmare.

The repugnant stench of smoke filled my nose while the loud bleeps of the smoke detector pierced my ear drum. Trembling, I stood on the front porch with my sister as tears trickled down my cheeks. Inferno had engulfed the garage and began its destruction of our cars. At two A.M. the sirens rang through the neighborhood as the fire trucks arrived. I peeked out the window of my grandpa’s house and couldn’t turn away from the tragedy across the street. Fear surged through my body as I watched my house, my bedroom, my memories, and everything I had vanish into thin air.

Neighbors soon arrived supplying us with comforting words and thoughtful hugs, but all I was thinking about was our cats. Midnight, Bombalarina, Victoria, and Cookie were four of my best friends. As I stared at my burning abode, I couldn’t do anything but hope that they had made it out. When news arrived that none of them escaped, I cried until I was all out of tears.

By the time they got the flame under control my house wasn’t far from a massive pile of ash and soot. Our once blue-gray home was now darker than the midnight sky on a cloudy night. Melted Christmas decorations were sprawled across the front lawn, and the sent of smoke was heavy in the air. Hardly anything was salvageable and what was only brought back painful memories.

Thanks to donations from the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and our generous friends and neighbors we were able to reconstruct our house on the spot. Memories of that night still haunt us all too often. Even though we were able to rebuild our lives we’ll never forget how quickly it can disappear.

Until I read this, I had never really thought about the kids view of that day.  I mean, I had thought about the fact that we all survived, and what sorts of post-traumatic stress we were all going through.  I knew that Cooper (age 3 at the time) really just took the whole event in stride.  I knew that Sarah was afraid to sleep on her own for a while.  I knew that Leanna was shaken, but I never really knew what she experienced that night.  Soon, life had us distracted with the quick pace of rebuilding our lives.  I never knew what she went through that night, I never really knew what the biggest impacts were for her.  Now I do.

She got an A.  

If you’d like to let Leanna know what you think of her writing, please leave a comment at

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