Accidents: House

(NEW SITE)


Fires

This morning (Saturday, February 3rd of 2007), I was checking the Morris Sun Tribune online and saw an article about the house fire of a church family. I first heard about this unfortunate incident at a weekly small-group bible study Wednesday morning. Then I would read more details of this misforune accident through our church family e-mails from our local pastor.

Later in the morning I would drive to the Baker house and would witness the fire damage. Looking at in person is much more "horrific" than what is written on the e-mails I received describing the fire scence during this week. It really shocked me and hit me in the heart to see a house be damage so much quickly. When I first heard of this fire accident, my perspective on my house and life overall changed. I appreciated more of God's blessing and life overall-thank God that no one got injured or even died! Money can replace "material things/stuff", but it cannot replace a human-life; which is more valuable?!

Here are some pictures I took in the cold-freezing (below zero) temperatures while helping clean...

There was a work-time today that was scheduled for volunteers to help clean-9am-5pm. It was awesome to see the turn-out of volunteers that came despite the cold-freezing temperatures. I stayed from 10:15a-4:30pm, which I had a good time fellowshipping with familiar and unfamiliar folks. One of the highlights of my day was hearing God's amazing work amongst the volunteers during breaks. I even plan to do more re"search" on a story of God's amazing work in Alexandria (on 6th and Nokomis).

The next day, the Baker family shared about how the fire started and how this incident is impacting their life. Many were more touched with what Nancy (mother of the house) shared...

God is Good?
...all the time!

Saturday, Feb 17th 2007-"Teamwork"-Itemizing for Fire Insurance

-Article

  • ‘We don’t have grief’ Morris Sun Tribune Published Wednesday, February 28, 2007 By Tom Larson Sun Tribune
  • " Randy and Nancy Baker and the seven of their 10 children still at home safely escaped a fire in their rural Hancock home on Jan. 30. The home has been determined to be a total loss, and the family is living in three attached apartments in Hancock while deciding how to rebuild their home. From left are Luke, 11, Shem, 15, Judilee, 4, Tirzah Joy, 6, Micah, 13, Randy, Nancy, Ruthanna, 10, and Ethan, 8. The Baker’s family includes daughter Hanna, son Seth and his wife, Joy, and Matthew.
    The Randy Baker family lost their home to a fire, and yet they can’t help but feel fortunate.
    The late-evening fire on Jan 30 near Hancock left Randy, his wife Nancy and seven of their 10 children virtually homeless and living with their neighbors.
    But the family made it out of the house without injury, and to the Bakers, that’s really all the matters.
    “We’re thankful we don’t have grief,” said Nancy Baker. “We have many challenges but we don’t have grief; we didn’t lose any children.”
    “There are a lot of people,” Randy Baker said, “who have a lot more challenges than we do.”
    The selfless nature of the Bakers spurred the same in their community.
    Friends, family, church members and strangers have come to their aid.
    On Saturday, March 3, several organizations are sponsoring a benefit supper for the Bakers from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the National Guard Armory in Morris.
    The supper includes sliced pork, scalloped potatoes, beans, cole slaw, rolls, bars and beverages.
    Free-will donations will be accepted, and those who would like to contribute to the Bakers but are unable to attend the benefit supper, can make checks payable to Morris Community Church and mail to 211 East Sixth Street, Morris. Matching funds for the benefit supper are being provided by Thrivent for Lutherans.
    “The generosity has been overwhelming,” Nancy said.
    Fire investigators concluded that an electrical problem in an upstairs radiant heating system caused the fire, said Al Thiel, Hancock Fire Department chief.
    Stevens County Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Loew said the fire was underway in the home’s attic when he arrived at 9 p.m.
    The Hancock Fire Department arrived in fewer than five minutes of receiving the page, Randy said.
    When fire fighters arrived shortly after that, the fire still was contained in the attic but soon broke through the roof, Thiel said.
    It was before 9 p.m. when Nancy began hearing noises in the ceiling above the kitchen and dining room. When the electricity went out on one side of the house, “we thought, ‘That’s weird,’ and knew something was wrong,” she said.
    The family didn’t smell smoke, but Randy said the ceiling felt warm when he touched it.
    “It was almost like dripping water but there are no pipes in the ceiling,” he said. “So I went through the process of elimination -- squirrels, mice, bats. What would make noise in the attic?”
    “You don’t think about hearing fire,” Nancy said.
    The family went to work disconnecting computers -- which saved thousands of photographs and other information -- and gathering up some other valuables.
    Then the family, including a couple in their pajamas, packed into vehicles and headed to the home of Randy’s employers and neighbors, Bennett and Wendy Zierke, just down the road.
    “They have seven kids at home and we added seven,” Randy said with a smile.
    Randy returned to help out the fire department, and Nancy and some of the family “just sat across the road and watched. It was unbelievable.
    And word spread quickly about their plight.
    That night, people stopped by the Zierke’s home to drop off clothing and food for the Bakers. They lived at the Zierke home for a week until suitable lodging could be found.
    The Bakers received three offers of places to stay, and Dennis Lindor of Prairie Community Services lined up an upstairs location in Hancock that has three apartments. The Bakers fill up all three.
    The fire burned the attic the length of the house, and water and smoke damage have left the home a mess. Randy said his insurance company has declared it a total loss.
    “Our thoughts now are to push the house in and start over,” Randy said.
    An early estimate for rebuilding totals about $270,000, and the home was insured for not nearly that much, he said.
    “That’s something people should look into,” Randy said. “You don’t think about what it would cost to totally replace your home.”
    Now somewhat settled in their temporary quarters, the Bakers still face numerous challenges, such as deciding on how to rebuild. But they also have some time and space to reflect on their blessings, even after such a tragedy.
    “We’re received tremendous support,” Nancy said. “We met neighbors we’d never met before. You can see how God can use things for good.”

  • Attic fire puts rural Hancock family out of home Morris Sun Tribune Published Saturday, February 03, 2007 (Morris Sun tribune)

  • " A Tuesday evening fire near Hancock has left a family living with neighbors and their home in need of, at least, a new roof.
    Fire investigators on Wednesday concluded that an electrical problem in an upstairs radiant heating system caused the fire at the Randy Baker home near Highway 9, said Al Thiel, Hancock Fire Department chief.
    Stevens County Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Loew said the fire was underway in the home’s attic when he arrived at 9 p.m. All people in the home were evacuated safely, he said.
    When fire fighters arrived shortly after that, the fire still was contained in the attic but soon broke through the roof, Thiel said.
    “(The family) knew something was wrong,” Thiel said. “They could hear something in the attic that didn’t sound right.”
    The fire was contained to the attic and roof, and the entire roof would need to be replaced, Thiel said, adding that he had no estimates on interior damage"

    Community Need Announcement

    What? Baker benefit supper March 3rd
    We're planning a benefit supper for the Randy and Nancy Baker family.
    When?Saturday, March 3rd @4:30-7:30p
    Where? National Guard Armory. Request: volunteer labor is needed!! For more info: Contact Morris Community Church

    Home From Above
    Tom Larson Morris Sun Tribune Published Saturday, May 26, 2007
    "A crane lowers the first of five sections onto the foundation at the Randy Baker residence near Hancock on Thursday. A crane lowers the first of five sections onto the foundation at the Randy Baker residence near Hancock on Thursday.
    In five relatively easy pieces, the Randy Baker family have back the home they lost to fire earlier this year.
    Five semis brought the new modular home to their land near Hancock on Wednesday and Thursday, and a crane hoisted the five sections of the two-story home into place.
    “Now, prepare for screeching tires,” said Gerry Estrem of Alexandria Homes, with a smile. “There’s going to be a lot of people stopping to take a look.”
    The Bakers hope to move into their new home by mid-June, Randy said, after some flooring is installed and painting projects completed.
    If they hit that date, it will come fewer than five months after a late-evening fire on Jan. 30 left Randy, Nancy and seven of their 10 children virtually homeless and living with their neighbors.
    Fortunately, no one was hurt in the blaze, but the home was totalled.
    The community rallied around the family. The family stayed temporarily at the home of Randy’s employers and neighbors, Bennett and Wendy Zierke, adding their sevens kids to the Zierke’s seven kids.
    People dropped off clothing and food, and Dennis Lindor of Prairie Community Services helped them get lined up in three upstairs apartments in Hancock until they could get working on their new home. More than 400 people came to a benefit for the Bakers.
    “We have a good community,” said Lowell Christensen, Nancy’s father, as he watched Thursday’s work.
    Joe Axtmann of the local Red Cross told the Bakers he had good luck with his modular home and it would be an efficient way for them to rebuild.
    The family got to work on designs it wanted to its new home, then met with Estrem to match it up with ones Alexandria Homes offered.
    The result is a five-bedroom home with just more than 3,000 square feet, Nancy said.
    “If not for some insurance and the help of a lot of people, we’d have never been able to do it,” she said.
    And still the generosity continues. Tradesmen have offered their time, and others have helped the Bakers buy essentials via the Internet.
    Now, the Bakers will just have to decide who goes where. With another child joining them for the summer, they’ll have to figure out who bunks up with who in the other four bedrooms, Nancy said, with a smile.
    “We’re eager to get back to our yard and our home,” she said. The new home of the Randy Baker family begins to take shape. The Bakers hope to move into their new home in mid-June, less than five months after fire destroyed their previous house. The new home of the Randy Baker family begins to take shape. The Bakers hope to move into their new home in mid-June, less than five months after fire destroyed their previous house. "

    Personal Story

    I decided to write about a fire I caused after 7+ years. I was working (around 2000/2001?) at Hoffman Home (a.k.a. Ravenwood Home) and my first full- year or so working, I was getting ready to fry/brown some pork chops. I'm a personal that really can't wait, so I turned up the dial/burner to the highest as possible. The cooking pan already had cooking oil and I just wanted get it warm very fast to start cooking! Well, I was the only one upstairs (supervisor down stairs) and the residents haven't arrived home yet from the DAC. There was a phone call, so I went to the office to answer it (cordless wasn't working or non-existent at that time). While chatting, I totally forgot about the cooking. I look back and saw this dark cloud of smoke spreading through the high ceiling of the kitchen and a flame coming out of the pan! I quickly put the phone down and ran to the kitchen stove. I took the pan and put it in the sink to get watered by the faucet. The alarm went on and my supervisor ran up-stairs. With no question, we quickly try to clear the smoke out. The 911 dipatcher in town called and my supervisor told them we were ok. I opened the windows in the patio in the living room and as many other windows to clear the smoke. The residents started to arrive and was wondering what was going on. I look at the stove to see the totally burned the clock area and dial up above the burner. The maintenance crew was called and they decided to replace it with a new one. Wow, what a humiliating and funny story now-I can laugh and chuckle months and years after! I definitely learned from this and that's what we all need to do-learn from our mistakes and not let this happen again to ourselves and others if possible by sharing this story!


    Reccomended Resources

    Testimonies

  • Popcorn Testimonies, from christianity about.com

  • "Cordie's Testimony - Through the Fire Undamaged When I was a member of the James Island Fire Department, we were called out to a house fire.
    After we arrived it was noted that the fire was located in the den and consumed most of the entire den before we could get it extinguished.
    After putting the fire out we performed a clean up of all burned materials. This is known in fireman's lingo as salvage or overhaul. As I looked around the room, I noticed that the den had a player piano. It had gotten so intensely hot in the den that the keys on the piano were melted into one big lump. Some fires reach a thousand degrees or more.
    As I was cleaning up the room I noticed a large book. I picked it up and discovered it was a family Bible. As I dusted it off it appeared to be in good shape. I took the Bible out to the lady of the house and gave her my regrets. This was the only thing to survive. As we looked at the book we noticed that the pages were not even tarnished. The Word of God had gone through the heat undamaged. This experience is one I will never forget"


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