Did I Ever Tell You about the Time I Almost Died in a Fire?

Me (4) with the freezers of death in the spring of 1981.

My parents purchased the freezers pictured above for a total of $30—I’m told they looked pretty sweet after a cleaning and a fresh coat of paint. They were eventually moved to the makeshift shed attached to the side of our trailer. The night of the fire, the upright freezer (I’m standing next to it in the photo) was defrosting. My dad had placed a shovel under the cord to create a hump which prevented water from running down the cord and into the outlet. It was one of those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” moments that we’ve all had in our lives.

During the night, the shovel fell over and water began running into the outlet. Uncle Vince happened to be staying the night and was asleep on the couch. No one quite remembers who smelled the smoke—my money is on Uncle Vince—however, within seconds we were all out of the trailer and my dad was dousing the flames with a garden hose.

Once the fire was out, we noticed a blackened piece of paper resting against the wall inside the trailer. Luckily, the trailer hadn’t caught fire, however, that blackened paper served as a sobering reminder of how close we all came to being little more than charred remains.

Take a moment today to discuss fire safety with your family. Check your smoke detectors, buy a fire extinguisher, and discuss what to do in the event of a fire. Stay safe out there, kids.


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