How Do You Move On From A House Fire

I have been watching the fires in Seaside Park, NJ and am in tears.  These poor people barely made it back from the huricane less than a year ago and now this:?

I know what its like to loose your home/everything to a fire.  I was only 9 years old when our house was hit by a meteor/fireball that exploded on impact.

Thankfully my family was away at a horse show with all our dogs or any living thing in the house would have been killed when 700 million volts of electricity went thru the house on impact.

I did loose my beloved pet mice, my sister her parakeets, but our dogs survived, as well as us.

How do you deal with such a loss?  It was incomprehensible at the time.

I remember being told to get on my horse while at the horse show and go find my father (the local police had word of the fire and were trying to contact us).  Mind you, I was only 9 years old and not told why I had to do this.  So I jumped on my horse bareback and road all over the fair grounds looking for my dad (This was the Saratoga, NY race track grounds).  I finally had to go to the announcer stand and ask him to have Mr. Snow return to his barn over the loud speaker.

I then returned to our barn to find everyone in tears and had no idea why……….

My father explained it to me and my first question was “where are we going to live”.  This is the first thought of a child in a tragedy like this (although I did not know that at the time).

I don’t know why I was so stoic.  I refused to cry in front of anyone and just held it together.

However, 2 weeks later when I and my siblings were brought back home to see the house and walk thru it……..   My bedroom (and my sisters) on the second floor were completely gone.  This is where the meteor hit.  I broke down and crumbled and my dad had to carry me out of the house in tears.

The only solace I got later in life was reading about loosing a house to flooding.  In a fire things can be salvaged.  In a flood, once water hits and stays there, forget it…..

I pray for anyone going thru this type of tragedy and loss.

It has been said that children are much more effected than adults with the loss of a home.  I am hear to tell you this is true.

I am now 50 years old and I can still cry remembering our loss.

Unfortunately the insurance company claimed “act of God” and would not pay.  However, in those days my father was doing well in business and we were lucky enough to have builders there throughout the winter working and our family was able to move back in within 6 months.

However, this was in 1971 and we had to rent a home in the mean time to the tune of $1000.00 a month.  That price was a kings ransom in those days.

I could not fathom how my dad did all this but he did.  He took care of his family and got us back in our home.  We also had 38 head of horses on the property that needed caring for…….

God rest my dad’s sole (he died of cancer at 88 on  4/19/12) he was the best father and provider any family could ask for.

There are pictures below of what we endured.

I pray for anyone going thru this ordeal.


Author: patty

Franklin Lakes, NJ

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