Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Up in Smoke


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉

I'm writing this Monday afternoon. I had a whole different post ready to go for today, but I'm changing it for a more timely question.

Around noon today I noticed a distinct odor in the air. "Where's the wildfire?" I asked. Turned out it's about a half hour away. (We discovered this after turning on the TV.) As the afternoon progressed, the light got darker and darker (and more orange-tinged). As the news crews watched, houses burned. (The firefighters were on scene doing their best.)

And we began speculating about the residents. How many of them had left home to go to work and now have no home to come back to? So, now you know what the question is...

What if while you were at work your house burned, and you lost everything?

26 comments:

  1. It smells like smoke in our house. We're about 50 miles from the fire areas up here in No. Cal.

    I might feel free of the burden of having 'things'. I also think I might feel devastated.

    My aunt spent all day yesterday waiting to be told if she had to evacuate or not. Go. Stay. Go. Stay. Ugh.

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    1. Scary stuff. I hope your aunt stays safe. I'm about 30 miles (?) from what they're calling the Canyon Fire 2.

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  2. I would definitely be devastated. We've worked home to make our home our own. But much, much worse than all the things we'd lose are our pups, who live there and can't work door knobs. A friend of mine had her home burn down and lost her dog that way. It's too tragic to contemplate.

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    1. Yeah, we wondered about pets, too. If you know you have to evacuate, you grab your pets, but if you're at work...

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  3. http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/fire-destroys-greely-home

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  4. Be safe!
    My alarm system would let me know there was a fire, so I'd arrive home in time to see it all go poof. Which would really suck. But as long and my wife and I were safe, that would be what mattered.

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  5. My alarm system would also notify me. But to play along, I'd be sad but it can all be replaced.

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    1. Since I didn't specify that you'd have no alarm system... Having one definitely changes the parameters.

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  6. I'd probably have to watch from a distance as crews destroy the whole block with water flooding out the flames. Thank heaven for insurance but thats no comfort for pet owners I suspect.

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  7. I would be devastated. My cats are at home...

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  8. My main concern would be my animals and, of course, I would be very sad about what I lost, especially the pictures and keepsakes like my mom’s eggs, but one can rebuild. I hope to never face this so please be safe!

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    1. It's a nightmare scenario to be sure. And I'm far enough away that my only concern really is air quality.

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  9. Not much you could do about it if you were at work and it burned....but upon finding out about it I would run home to see if my fur babies made it out. Plus, I have keepsakes that comes from the family past that I would hate to lose.

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  10. I would hope I would have the fortitude to build again and not just give up on life, etc. Scary things happening in California with these wildfires. October is not a kind month for California at times. One can only hope the fires will be under control and no new ones will start.

    betty

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  11. Hi Liz - dreadful ... and there's not many more things scarier. I do hope things change .. and fires abate - take care ... Hilary

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  12. The news this year has been so sad with hurricanes, floods, and fires and so much loss of life and devastation. Had friends in Montana and before the snow finally came, it looked like the whole state might burn up. I don't know how people deal with that, but somehow they seem to get use to it according to my friend. I think they keep valuables elsewhere and have what they need at the read to evacuate when things become threatening. This one was odd, I guess because they didn't know ahead? The books question, they actually do have a catalog to find books.

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    1. Ah, I see how they would need a catalog.

      I guess there's disaster preparedness stuff everyone can do. Just depends on what's likely in your area. For me it's mostly earthquake stuff, although a fire could happen.

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  13. Scary stuff, wildfires. I'm glad to live in a generally waterlogged state. If my house got lost I'd be upset over some precious trinkets and photos. But as long as my loved ones were fine I'd be in shock but also feel free in a way, I think. Our house can be a bit of a depressing burden with constant things going wrong. But we own it, so what can you do? I can't afford to 'start over' now unless forced. So it would definitely be a bittersweet situation in that odd way.

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    1. Interesting. Yeah, it might be good to rebuild, but only if you have the means to do so.

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  14. You must be up in wind country or thereabouts. If that happened and there was no home to live in, I probably be grateful that I (or family) was not there

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    1. Nope. The question was prompted by what they're calling Canyon Fire 2.

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  15. Sadly, a co worker's daughter is facing this for real. She, her boyfriend, and their baby live in Santa Rosa. They evacuated last night. His business is probably ashes (it was located in a mandatory evacuation zone, so they didn't bother to go back and look). Her daycare is gone (and one of the families barely escaped with their lives). It is so sad and tragic. She texted her mother and said "we may be moving back to NY". They must just be in total shock right now. I could not even begin to imagine. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. This is so real for so many. Some real awful stuff.

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  16. I'd be devastated. Two of my dogs are kept inside the house so it would be a tragedy.

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    1. It's scary to think about home bound pets.

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