*NOW I can be scared*
By: Warlord
21 July 2004

NOW I can be scared, the danger is past...

The HVAC guy came out and pulled the Central Heat/Air unit inside the house apart.

I'll happily give credit where credit is due.. Alec probably saved our lives... (Honey, this makes us even for all the stuck candy I've knocked out of your throat ;)

The electrical fire started in the HEATING relay of the central Heat/Air unit under the blower fan inside the house... all this relay does is tell the heating unit not to come on while the Air conditioning is on.

The HVAC company is the best in the area (They are EXPENSIVE, but worth every penny).. The HVAC guy says there is a rash of these units doing the same thing.. this relay goes bad and sticks, the unit overheats and the wires burn. Since many of the wires that are exposed to the fire aren't really doing anything (IE: none of the wiring that controls the heating in the unit are being used when the Air Conditioning portion is running) the unused wires will burn, and it doesn't matter if the circuit breakers to those wires pop since the fire has started already before the unit shorts out, and the breakers that DO finally kick out go to wires that aren't being used anyway, so that doesn't help at all!

Due to the layout of the unit, There are combustibles ABOVE the unit, and the fire is getting a GREAT flow of forced air because the blower is still running, feeding air directly to the fire...

...he says we're the ONLY house he's seen that didn't burn Down because of it...

I told him we weren't giving up the house without a fight, so I had hit the main breakers and we looked until we found the fire... It was difficult because the house was literally chest deep in dense heavy smoke.. If Alec hadn't woken up, we'd have probably died in our beds from smoke inhalation, or died in the fire... The heavy smoke never made it up as high as the Smoke alarms... you can BET we'll be putting in lower smoke alarms this week.

As it was, we kept our cool, killed the power, found the fire and got it under control.

Even the HVAC guy said most people just run out of the house and wait for the fire department, and by then it's too late...

Like I said above, (and told the insurance people) We will not give up our home without a fight. Carrie and I both have fire training, and we aren't sheeple.

Anyway, the whole unit is being pulled out and replaced with a Trane this week, I won't have a faulty unit in my house, no matter the cost.

We pulled the air conditioner out of the camper and put it in the office window, the HVAC people are bringing out more window units tomorrow to loan us until they get the new central unit in place (I told you they are worth every penny they charge, these HVAC people are the best in the area, and little services like loaning us air conditioners are why they are worth every dime)

They Should have the new unit installed by the end of the week.

The HVAC folks also told the Insurance people that we saved the house and that without our calm reaction they'd be paying out a few hundred grand instead of $5,000. They also told them that if we'd simply called the fire department and they'd managed to save the house, they would have come in and ripped out the walls and drug the whole unit outside, tearing up walls, flooring and carpet on the way out (I know that to be a fact from my own training).

The Insurance people were also happy to note that we have fire extinguishers in almost every room of the house, and we know how to use them.

It makes us proud to know that we have raised Alec to be cool headed and calm in a crises, and to THINK instead of running around losing her mind like most sheeple kids would have done...

During my Volunteer fire days I pulled a 13 year old girl out from under her bed while the house was burning down around us.. she had not made a peep.. simply got under the bed to cower and was waiting to die... Alec didn't panic, she simply woke us up and we did what had to be done, just like we'd practiced it so many times in the past...

I can be scared NOW.. it's over and we came through it fine... But we were literally only a few minutes (Maybe seconds) from losing the house, and possibly our lives.

(Note the Insulation, Pipe coverings, and WALL AND FLOORING had already started to burn)

Did I mention that just a few inches away, just on the other side of that shared wall that was begining to burn through, is where I keep my large ammo cans of ammunition, reloading equipment (including smokeless reloading powder), and my Black Powder Rifle's supplies? I never mentioned it because I didn't know the HVAC unit was only 4 inches on the other side of the shared wall like that! Due to the way the house is laid out, I thought the HVAC unit was much closer to sharing a wall with the laundry room than to the storage room where my Ammo and stuff are locked up!

"My father used to tell me, "Alex, there is nothing wrong with being scared... as long as you don't let it affect you until the danger is over. Being hysterical is okay, too... afterwards and in private. Tears are not unmanly... in the bathroom with the door locked. The difference between a coward and a brave man is mostly a matter of timing." --Alex Hergensheimer in Job: A Comedy of Justice
--Robert A. Heinlein


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