What would you do if your neighbor's house went up in flames?

@Awinds (2475)
United States
November 26, 2011 12:34am CST
Well tonight, around 10:00 pm, my neighbor's - who lives just a house away from me - home went up into flames. We are not talking about a small cook stove fire - we are talking about a whole house that went up in flame. There was fire coming out of every window and her entire wooden deck is gone. My family called 911 but someone had already beaten us to it. It was quite cold but we all stood out there for about half an hour watching this horrible fire. The house is still standing but it is obvious it will never be lived in again. But despite the fire, I thank God for much. First of all, the elderly lady that lives in the house was not inside at the time of the fire. Secondly, there was no wind and the fire did not spread to any nearby houses. Thirdly, the firemen were able to put out about 98% of it. Fourthly, no one got killed or injured despite the size of the blaze. If you remember to, please pray for the lady that owns that charred house. I assume that she has lost everything tonight. Now for my question: if your neighbor's house was on fire, what would you do? Why?
4 people like this
18 responses
@celticeagle (111701)
• Boise, Idaho
27 Nov 11
Thank goodness the elderly lady wasn't in the house. I don't know what I would do. I would be very upset and scared though. My granddaughter left a candle that she thought she had put out and her apartment burned down. Luckily she was gone at the time of the fire. She lost everything.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
27 Nov 11
I took a look at her house this morning. There is nothing left but the frame of the house, a few plastic container lids, and ash. Like your granddaughter, my neighbor pretty much lost everything. It is good both were not in their places of residence during the fires! Did your granddaughter recover?
1 person likes this
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
27 Nov 11
I'm sorry - I didn't mean to bring up unpleasant memories. That is quite unfortunate - however I do imagine loosing everything is quite a traumatic experience and then some.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (111701)
• Boise, Idaho
28 Nov 11
Life is a series of ups and downs.
• Philippines
27 Nov 11
In times like this people are telling that the one near the house is very energetic that they can lift(by one person) a fridge. And after the event dont have any strength. First if i were in that kind of situation i will definitely inform all the people in my house to go out and bring them important documents we have. In split of a second i will call fire department. And shout for help to our neighbors to prepare water in their bucket.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
27 Nov 11
That is a good plan - to not only help the one whose house is on fire but to also prepare for the worst just in case. It does seem wise to remove what is important when the neighbor's house is on fire!
• Philippines
27 Nov 11
Yeah definitely, i think the fridge can be left at home. Ü
@ceasar09 (442)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
If these happens to my neighbor I will immediately call fire station emergency number to come and put out the fire. Maybe I will also help to stop the fire from getting bigger by pouring water to the house to the fire from getting to other house. I will also help to evacuate things inside the house if the fire is not to much big and the house is still passable. It is really hard to recover after your house is burned cause everything you have been working hard are also gone into ashes.
• United States
26 Nov 11
oh I agree its hard to recover your things after a fire. When our great-grandparents house went up in fire, the firemen were taking pictures off the walls while the other firemen were putting the fire out. If it wasn't for them she would have lost all her pictures.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
26 Nov 11
That is an excellent point! Our house also tends to be our storage space. If that goes, most of our net worth goes to. That's one reason I hope the local people make good on this collection idea! :)
@dodo19 (26668)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
10 Dec 11
If my neighbor's house is on fire, I'd definitely call 911. I'd definitely want to do something about it. It just wouldn't feel right just sitting there and doing nothing. I'd help in anyway I could.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
11 Dec 11
I agree. What does it say about us as people when we just sit there and there is need literally right next door?
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
3 Dec 11
I would try to holler and tell her to get out. I would also call the fire department or 911. I do not know what else I could do. I have extra sheets but not that many blankets and do have some p0ts and pans, but if you are asking if I wold empty my fridge or give some extra food and furniture, I can only do so much.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
5 Dec 11
Well, we all have our limits. I suppose it comes down to how tight things are for you at that moment. :)
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
27 Nov 11
I would first call 911 as you did and hope and pray everyone who lived there made it out unharmed. I would offer a warm place to stay for anyone that was without their home even if it was just temporary. I woud fix coffee and for the firefighters as well as the victims. I'm glad no one was hurt. Insurance takes a bit of time to go through and as you said, this lady lost everything. Somethings just can't be replaced. It's heartbreaking. I hope she has family or someone close that she can stay with until she can get another place.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
27 Nov 11
What you would do is most neighborly. The lady does indeed have a family - a lot of family. For now she is staying at another neighbor's. I am really glad the community didn't turn her away in her darkest hour. :)
@Rosa26 (2620)
• United States
27 Nov 11
I would do what you did call 911,and besides I would to see if the people are outside or still inside,and try to calm the pesons,if we have water I would ask the neighbors to join with me to try to sofocate the fire. Why? because today was the neighbor but tomorrow can be me .
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
27 Nov 11
You know what, that is an excellent point and you are the first to mention it. It is someone else yesterday but what if it is us tomorrow? Treat others are you want to be treated - that really is a good rule to live by.
• China
27 Nov 11
i will of course call the 911 first if the fire is too great. then i will do whatever i can do to help.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
27 Nov 11
Sounds like a plan to me. It is better than just walking around and watching what happens. :)
@whatrow (793)
• United States
27 Nov 11
Assuming the fire department had already been notified, I would do what I could to help the residents. Temporary shelter until other arrangements could be made. Warm clothing. Food. Maybe furniture later if they decide to go back.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
27 Nov 11
I don't think the lady will be coming back - I took a second look this morning and all that remains is the framework of her house. However I agree that victims of house fires have need and as neighbors it should be our desire and duty to help them in the ways they need.
• United States
27 Nov 11
I would offer my help. i would go over to my neighbor and ask what I could do to help them. if they said they needed a place to stay I would offer my spare bedroom. They could stay with me as long as they needed to. i would do what ever I could to help them.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
27 Nov 11
You must have quite a good heart! :) The lady whose house was burned down is currently staying with another neighbor, for so now she has shelter. She also has a lot of family so all are hoping that her family will be able to help her long term - that is to give her a new home to go to. For now the community is helping her out.
@Rick1950 (1481)
• Peru
26 Nov 11
Well, first I'd call the fire department. Secondly, I'd go to the neighbor's house and see if I could help them. And finally, I don't really expect that something like this happens here in the neighborhood. Actually fire is a horrible event. I think you are lucky that your home has not been damaged. Take care.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
27 Nov 11
I agree! When it comes to fire there is really nothing us little humans can do. I just thank God there was no wind - that would have spread the fire with no hesitation at all!
• Indonesia
26 Nov 11
Note : In here, we don't have 911, but we do have a fire center when we could call anytime when someone's house, building or land went up in flames. I would try to collect human sources or efforts in order to be to put off the fire by calling people who live about the fire place and try to put down the flames as hard as I could. I couldn't stand up seeing someone's house was in flame. That's an odd if we just looked at it without doing nothing.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
26 Nov 11
That makes sense. As far as I know 911 is an American thing only. However it is good that you have places to call for such emergencies. I agree that just standing by is cruel to those who own the burning house.
@jennifer611 (2502)
• United States
26 Nov 11
Well I would do what you did... Pray. I know there are people who dont agree or believe in that but me myself, I do. I believe prayer is powerful and God hears them all and he will make that situation better then if it never happened at all. he can turn all bad situations around and make it for good. who knows, maybe she will move to a place she just absolutely LOVES and would never had the chance if this had not happened. if it were me, not only would I pray, but I would try to help her recover some things she had lost. obviously she will need everything now. clothing, furniture, etc.. and there are sites online where I would check to try to help gather those things for her. such as freecycle and craigslist. I'd ask friends for donations of items or even money to give to the lady. maybe even ask my church for help. and if I had room, I would offer her to stay with me until she found a new place. I would just do anything I could to be there for her because I would love for someone to care that much about me if it were me.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
26 Nov 11
I think what you posted is the best remedy! I just really hope everyone will come together and help her - as you say, she will need everything she can get now and then some!
@umabharti (3976)
• India
26 Nov 11
Now it would be so hard for htem to make another home and with all that furniture,and get what ever they used to have in the old one. Why did not they try to put off the fire when it was a little one,if the small fire was putoff there would not had been a big damage. If there are near by houses then its good that all not waiting for a fire brigade and for firemen to come.The neighbours shoudl try to put of the fire,use their motors to pump water and cool down or extinguish the fire.All shoudl work for one reason that is putting off the fire and saving the lives and property. Its nice to listen that no life is gone and all are at safe,but that would take a lot of time for them to rebuild what they had lost the last night.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
26 Nov 11
Well, when the fire started, the lady that owns the house was at a neighbor's two houses away. we suspect her wood stove may have gotten out of hand. No one noticed it until the smoke was high and thick in the sky. Another bad thing was we all had our pipes sealed away because of winter cold. It wasn't a pretty situation! However I do agree that this isn't something the lady can recover from in one night. It is going to take a community effort. She is currently staying with another neighbor for now. :)
• United States
26 Nov 11
About a month ago I went to pick up my children from their babysitters house which is their great-grand parents. When I drove up there was smoke everywhere and I saw their great-grandmother and my oldest son coming out of the house. She didn't realize it was on fire and started yelling. I jumped out of my truck while my oldest son ran inside to grab my 4 yr old. I ran to the mail box and called 911 and gave the address and directions. I sent my children across the road to their aunts house to get her out. In the meantime, I moved the camper trailer, 4-wheelers, got the dogs together etc. Aunt Anita had already cut the electricity so we weren't able to use the water since its on a well. I helped in any way form or fashion I could. Luckily for them, everyone got out safely and only the living room was majorly damaged by the fire.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
26 Nov 11
It sounds like it was quite scary at the time. However it is great that no life was lost. Only one room scorched out of an entire house is not to bad - undesirable yes but as the saying goes it could have been so much worse!
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
I'd call 911 and get out of the way, so that the firefighters can do their job. Neighbors always have that instinctive desire to help. However, sometimes our presence in the scene can make the situation worse. I'd leave it to the experts.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
26 Nov 11
I have to agree. There are far to many times when those just standing buy attempt to get involved and actually make the job more difficult. If no one is trapped inside the house before, for example, the firefighters arrive, it does indeed seem best just to stand back.
@WakeUpKitty (8711)
• Netherlands
26 Nov 11
If my neighbours house is on fire mine is too. All our houses are attached to each other. We live in a row-house. So let's hope we will wake up at all if that happens. If I am still awake and see the fire I will drag my kids out of bed first, call the fire-fighters and check all the neighbours.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
26 Nov 11
That sounds like a good plan. It gets you and yours safe while at the same time giving your neighbors a chance. Of course the best thing to do is hope that a fire never occurs. :)
@lilaclady (28270)
• Australia
26 Nov 11
I would certainly ring the emergency number, and h maybe see if there was some small way I could try and put it out while the fire brigade wqas coming and of course try to alert any possible people inside, what a horrible ordeal for you...
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
26 Nov 11
I agree that 911 is must-do response! Don't get me wrong, but I am thankful it wasn't my house! Seeing a fire in person is much different than seeing it on TV. There is talk of having a collection for the woman that lost her house - I hope everyone (including my household) contributes.