Yesterday progressed like most days around here. Bret worked at school. I worked here. I had pretty much finished up my work list, prepared my weekend and Monday to do lists. Bret arrived home and we chatted about our days. It was a little windy, but it’s been windy the past week or so. Then the lights started to flicker. At first we thought the power was going out, so we turned off a few lights, and checked the breaker box. We were able to switch the popped breakers back when our landlord said to hit the main breaker. A minute later he was at the door to say there was a fire and we had to get out. In a few minutes, we grabbed things that were close (computers, contracts, work folders, wallets, keys, phones, my current book manuscript). There wasn’t a raging fire or any smoke, this wasn’t a “get out now” situation, so we had a few minutes to look around and ask – is there anything we have to have? Anything we wouldn’t want to lose? Because we have minimal stuff and work out of our backpacks pretty regularly, most of what we needed was ready to go. But it as a little surreal to walk around the apartment and not find much we HAD to have. In a last minute remembrance, there was a sweatshirt I had been gifted recently that I did not want to lose, so I tossed that on top.
We made our way to the sidewalk where we found out there were several houses affected. Each owner described the same experience – flickering electronics and the smell of burning. The fire departments were here really fast. Several stations showed up too.
Standing on the street, I almost started to cry. I think it was the weight of what could have been, the potential seriousness of what happened, and that sense of community when something happens. Ha ha, we were formally introduced to one of the neighbors, even though we’ve been here almost a year.
After checking all the houses, the fire department counted them as safe. They had called BGE to look at what had happened. At this point, we decided to take off. Either to get a hotel or just kill some time while things were being looked at and fixed. Turns out there was a surge and the transformer for roughly 10 houses had to be replaced.
We ended up celebrating a recent signed contract for another house with dinner and coffee. We try to celebrate in small ways for a signed contract and then big ways for a closing. Ha ha, so much can happen to extend a closing or not work out all together. So we don’t count that money until the check is in hand.
We grabbed dinner at Taco Bell (which is a big real estate investing celebration spot for us, apparently!) We had talked about going to see Black Panther, but we haven’t seen a few of the Marvel movies before that (Thor and Spiderman) so we decided to just grab coffee and then head back. We chatted for about an hour or so at Starbucks.
When we arrived home, we set up candles and read by their light for a little while, then bundled up for the night without power.
Thankfully, the power is back on and very few things were damaged by the surge (just microwaves, I think). The lesson learned is to turn off EVERYTHING if you think there’s a surge. Also, have a housewide surge protector (I didn’t know this was a thing!)
It was also a great reminder to actually have a “bug out bag” ready to go. While we got everything that we needed, we were very haphazard about it. So we plan on thinking through the things we’d HAVE to grab and have a clothes/toiletries bag all ready to go.
Here’s hoping today is a little more chill.
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