2006/08/17

Way Too Much Excitement

So, you ever have one of those days when everything goes exactly like you planned, except for one thing?  When I got up this morning, I knew what I wanted to do.  Get up early, go take some pictures of a few roundabouts before traffic gets too bad, come home, eat some breakfast, read for a while, take a nap, clean the house.  And that is exactly how my day went, except that between the nap and the house cleaning, there was the small matter of the house fire.  Fortunately I'm fine and the cats are fine and Bss and the kids are still on vacation, and we really didn't lose much more than a few toys and things that happened to be in that room.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This happened in a one of the rooms that I'm not using right now to save power.  The door to that part of the house was closed.  I was sleeping on the couch, when I heard breaking glass.  I thought it was one of the cats knocking something over, so I got up to check the kitchen, and then I smelled smoke.  So I opened the door to check it out, and was almost knocked down by a huge cloud of black smoke.  I could just see the fire through the smoke.  In just a few seconds the entire downstairs was filled with smoke.

So I called the fire department so that they could come put the fire out.  It only took about six phone calls by me and five by my neighbors to get them to understand where to come.  So almost a half-hour after I first called they finally arrived and put the fire out.  There really needs to be a better method of addressing houses here.  If someone here had been having a heart attack or stroke or been cut badly, they would have died before help arrived.  If you are a free market-loving libertarian like me, you will no doubt not be surprised that it is easier and faster to get a pizza delivered here than the fire department.  Once they arrived, the fire brigade was very fast and professional and had the fire out in just a few minutes.  One of the firemen was even a student at the university.

So then I got to clean the house, almost like I planned.  When the smoke cleared, the entire downstairs was covered in this black stuff from the smoke.  You can see the outline of where the carpet was before I took it up.  These pictures are from part of the house furthest away from the fire.  The rooms closer to the fire were even more thickly covered.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Working together, the watchman for our villas and I got the living room and dinning room cleaned in only about six hours, so that only leaves five more rooms for tomorrow.  Fortunately I have two more people coming tomorrow to help with the cleanup.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may be thinking that this sounds familiar.  Yep, this is the second electrical fire that we have had here this year.


10 comments:

nzm said...

Far out!

In a way, it's fortunate that you are still alive, the family wasn't there to be harmed, and that you at least have some house left to clean.

It appears that fires of this nature occur way too often in this country. A former colleague of mine told us of a house that he rented in the Gardens in Dubai where the electrical sockets would mysteriously burst into flames.

It really doesn't do one's confidence any good knowing that you could potentially come home to ash and cinders. ;-(

John B. Chilton said...

Glad you are ok and no one was hurt. Bummer about the mess.

The number of electrical fires is shocking.

Someone needs to address the location problem.

Desert Dweller said...

Glad you're OK and that you woke up in time. It's time to move...2 fires in one year! Do you know what caused the fire? Did you get that fire extinguisher suggested in a comment after your last fire? I think that's a brilliant idea, I'm off to get one just to be on the safe side. Oh, and get an electric stove, gas is sooo dangerous!!

The firestations really need to jack themselves up. I think you should lodge a complaint with the muncipality.

sherilou said...

Glad you are safe and well!! Amazing how fast flames spread, and the mess it leaves behind. Doesn't sound like moving is the answer if it is a common problem. Be safe bro! I love ya.

Seabee said...

Glad you're OK and it wasn't worse.

The dodgy electrical fittings problem is a reality of life, so I'm sure that can't be solved easily. But this problem with the emergency services really needs addressing as a matter of extreme urgency.

People have reported simply no answer from 999, language problems, location finding problems, huge time delays. It has to be seriously looked into.

al bux said...

Roundabouts can wait! Thank heavens ur OK and loss was not heavy. Just be prepared, I guess...Make sure you know the street name villa number, nearest roundabout, any other information...(which I'm sure you already gave them).

Anywayz....stay safe...

samuraisam said...

wow!
fun and excitement!

thank goodness you're all ok though.

I have to say the vast majority of houses I've been in in the UAE don't have any fire alarms.

Anonymous said...

SamuraiSam, even if the houses did have fire alarms. The alarm would probably still be ignored!!

just a mom said...

Wow Brn! Thank goodness you are ok! We have prevented at least two fires in our house that would have been from teh exact same thing! (I swear I have a nose like a hound dog - I can smell fire from a mile away).
For the floors, if you still feel like they need to be cleaner, go buy a Hoover Floor Mate. We got ours in Dubai, but I think they have them here in Al Ain at Carrefour. It is absolutely wonderful. It vacuums, scrubs, washes and sucks up the water all in one sweep. You are more than welcom to borrow ours if you need to also. Let me know.

~Jenn

Red Pen said...

Glad you are OK. Hope you have renter's insurance.

Speaking of quality workmanship: Our place is just over four years old. We have three water heaters, and in that time all three have leaked (or gushed). Fortunately, we were home at time and prevented major flooding.