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by : Anonymous | written on :07/04/2009 | permalink

Nearly burnt my house down

Fire!

I left work early on the day before Paddy's Day, as I was driving up the country to an auction. I had an hour to get ready and collect my girlfriend so I said to myself I'd put on the chicken stock from the previous nights dinner so we could have some hearty soup the following evening when we got back. I put an overnight bag together, made myself a snack and before I left made sure the heating was off and then hit the alarm and left. The alarm monitoring hadn't been paid in a while but I decided it'd be better to have the alarm on anyway.

5 hours later as we stood in a hall bidding on some antique furniture I got a call from an unidentified no. As the auction was in progress I decided not to take it and wait for a message. Two minutes later the phone rang again, this time my girlfriends sister who was away on holidays. I took the call and sneaked out the back of the hall. She told me she'd just got a call from the alarm monitoring service saying the housealarm had been going for a couple of hours. They were no longer monitoring the alarm but the neighbour was being driven mad by the noise so he took down the number on the alarm unit outside the house and called them to see if they could shut it off, and they were just passing on the message. The blood drained from my face as I remembered the stock: I couldn't remember turning off the gas as I left! I thanked my sister in law and went back into the auction room and whispered into my girlfriends ear "is the smoke alarm in the house connected to the burglar alarm?". She nodded. I then whistpered to her that we needed a word. As we left the building I told her about the stock. The blood drained from her face. As we were over 2 hours drive away, we got on the phones and started to ring everyone we knew within a few minutes drive. As it was Paddy's Day eve, people were either away or uncontactable. Eventually we got a friend, then another, then my brother. They all made a separate beelines in the direction of the house, one ofthem calling the fire brigade on the way. They could seethe red hot pot on the stove through the letterbox and the house was already filled with smoke. My brother, being a bit more of a give-it-a-go-hero, hopped the back wall and was about the break the patio door to gain entry when 3 fire engines came roaring up. The ordered everyone back and took a route one - straight through the back gate, then straight through the patio glass! Thankfully they got it justin time and the only real damage was from the smoke. 3 weeks later and the smell of burning steel still hasn't gone away!

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