Daily Prompt: Burning Down the House/Burnt

1. Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?
2. Remember yesterday, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind?

Since I’m behind, I’m going to combine these two prompts.

Prompt 1

It was a blustery cold day. There were two space heaters running on full blast and a fire going in the fireplace. It was around lunch time. I had been working on cleaning out closets all morning. As I walked toward the kitchen to prepare some lunch, I noticed smoke coming from the living room. Upon further investigation, I discovered that one of the logs had fallen out of the fireplace, split into several pieces upon hitting the floor, and one of the pieces had bounced into a box with some old newspapers in it. Thus the fire had started.

I quickly grabbed my purse, my coat, my laptop, some of my favorite pictures hanging on the walls, and finally as many books as I could hold. I rushed out the door, where my dogs and cats were awaiting me. I shoved all that I had managed to grab into the car and pulled the car a safe distance from the house.

I called 911, on my cell phone, and then called my husband at work. I stood, with my dogs, and watched everything else go up in smoke.

Prompt 2

The fire department did the best they could, but was unable to save anything else from the house. My husband arrived home from work as fast as he could. We stood holding each other and crying. We had lost so much.

It was getting dark, but neither of us were hungry. Luckily, my father-in-law had a camper parked in our backyard. We stayed the night there. I don’t think either of us slept much that night.

When daylight came and it was warm enough to venture outdoors, we walked up to the remnants of our home. There wasn’t much left and what was left was drenched with water. My husband, being the optimist that he is, was thankful that I had gotten out alive. I, however, worried over things lost that could never be replaced.

My grandmother’s old cedar chest that she left to me when she passed. It was full of memories; a lot of items and pictures that had belonged to her. All of my picture albums had been destroyed. They held pictures of my daughters from the day of their birth, and pictures of my grandchildren from the day of their birth. Then there were the pictures that I had to leave hanging on the walls and sitting on shelves; all destroyed.

Some of my angel collection could be saved, but a lot of it was beyond repair. Hundreds of books that I had to leave behind were destroyed. My husband’s desktop computer was melted; taking with it a lot of pictures and documents that we wouldn’t be able to recover.

The rest could be replaced. It would take time, but it could be replaced. My husband, the one always looking on the bright side of things, said, “Well, looks like we might be able to build that Yurt we’ve been wanting to build.” This was true, but first I had to grieve and come to terms with all that had been lost.



10 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Burning Down the House/Burnt

Add yours

    1. Yes, that would be very hard. I’m full of nostalgia anyway. 🙂 This prompt did get me thinking about putting all that is very dear to me in a safe place, but then what would the joy be if you couldn’t see these things everyday?


  1. Makes me think I should backup all my friends and family photos on some portable drive so I can just grab it an go in case an emergency such as this arises. I live alone so of course there is no need to worry about anyone’s safety. Not sure what else I would bring – perhaps my purse because the contents of my wallet would be difficult and time consuming to replace (ID cards, bank card, etc). Oh, and my phone so I can contact my family. Other than that ::shrugs::

    Thank you for sharing this. Now I’m on a mission to save my files…


  2. Our home burnt down, in September 1980. Our lives were turned upside down and changed dramatically. I left the house with nothing and the only things my husband and I found not replaceable were the things fired with memories – our wedding photographs, the books I had been writing (in several hand written notebooks), the paintings from our college days. It is a grieving process but a cathartic one – makes you realise what you value. But I didn’t write again for twenty-five years and that is my big regret. However if we didn’t have that fire we probably wouldn’t have stopped to have a family…..and now I have two grandsons.


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