As my 18-year old daughter Christine said yesterday when she arrived at the scene: "There's ALWAYS something going on in this house."
Here's what happened:
We have insufficient pressure on the cold water in our house these days. It means that something must be done, so CarpenterTorben called on Grethe's brother, who can fix water things.
It required that we broke up a bit of the floor in our entre/foyer/whatever it's called in our house and dig a big hole on the outside in order to get to the water pipes. Torben and I joked about an idea: Why not tear down the whole house and build a new one where there's plenty of space for pipes, wires, and such?
Well, one should be careful about what one wishes for.
Grethe's brother arrived around 1400 hours yesterday and within minutes I had complaints from my wife via text messages and phone calls that he was leaving dust everywhere, and how on Earth were we supposed to get it cleaned in time for the weekend?
So when Anette called the third time I was tempted not to answer, but I did.
This time she wasn't worried about the dust. She was in our bedroom upstairs with Viktor and Melina (2 and 9 years old) and the staircase was blocked due to fire and thick smoke downstairs.
Grethe's brother had been cutting a water pipe when a spark ignited the styrofoam used for insulation under the floor. Since he had cut the water supply he acted quickly and took a towel, dipped in the toilet, and tried to put out the fire that way. Didn't work. It kept creeping further and further under the floor through the styrofoam.
So he called for fire figthers while Anette shut doors upstairs and opened the windows in the bedroom where she was, ready to throw the kids out of the window into either blankets or arms of the people gathered under the window. She even had the wherewithal to look for tape that could seal the door from the smoke. She then called me, CarpenterTorben and others. Then she made sure the kids were dressed warmly. Cool lady under pressure!
Turns out I can drive 180 km/h on a bike path and cross lots of red lights if I have to (due to the rush hour traffic blocking the roads). I found out later that Torben had done the same in an attempt to get quickly from our new office to Kratvej.
When I arrived there were already seven fire trucks, ambulances and police cars on site. Anette and the kids had been saved out of the window by a big, strong fire fighter, and the fire had pretty much been put out.
Anette, Viktor and Melina were taken to ER, had oxygene and came home again in a taxi, still with no shoes. All shoes are kind of rubbish. They slept in NabooPeter's house, Christine slept in the Garage and I slept (of course!) on the couch in the living room, just in case somebody wanted to sneak in and steal my laptop or other important things.
So nobody got hurt, and we didn't lose any dear possessions (bar all our shoes), which is very nice.
Oh, the Emergency Service company that took over when the fire fighters left wouldn't listen to CarpenterTorben, who kept saying that it was still burning somewhere underneath the floor. But suddenly they were convinced, too, and the fire fighters had to show up a second time. This time Torben had to break down the floor in the entre/foyer with a huge drill hammer (or whatever it's called) so they could get down to the styrofoam. Otherwise, the fire would have spread underneath the floors to the kitchen and living room (and possibly to the oak table!). Good man, this Torben. I think he saved my house yesterday.
We can't live in the house for some days - it has to be cleaned due to the smoke, particles and such. But Jytte, who runs the local restaurant, has made an apartment upstairs ready for us, and all the neightbours are ready to house us, too.
So we wished for a lot of cold water with high pressure. We got that, courtesy of the Ballerup fire brigade.
We also wished for easy access to the water pipes. We got that.
Anette wanted new shoes. Check.
I never liked the white colour of the entre/foyer walls. Man, it's black now.
Viktor always loved fire trucks. Check.
Women dream about being rescued out of a burning building through the window by a big, strong fire fighter. Check.
Tomorrow we'll have the traditional, Danish Christmas lunch in Miracle. We have things to talk about now.
PS: And I forgot to mention that it was CarpenterTorben's birthday that day!