I was in a house fire Sept 8th, 2012. I’ve talked about it before but all of it might have disappeared because I know I mentioned it on Youtube but I deleted all my old videos with my deadname because dysphoria, but I have mentioned it in places before.
Me and my then fiancé (who I since married in 2014 and he passed away last year in 2021) were renting a house. We had one car. He was at work with the car, I had a messed up sleep schedule so when he left for work that day I first tried to get my cat Mandi in (we had a then outside dog and 3 inside kittens) but couldn’t (thankfully) so knowing she’d be ok I locked the door and went upstairs to bed.
We had taken some fire alarms down at some point apparently, I have no idea, at any rate there wasn’t any upstairs. There was one somewhere downstairs but my ass couldn’t hear it until I opened the door. I woke up in the afternoon because I smelled smoke. My nose woke me up. I went to open the bedroom door (It wasn’t hot) and was greeted by smoke. I was trapped. Despite how long it’s been this is STILL hard to talk about.
We were living in the middle of nowhere. Literally, no cell phone service (except for whatever reason in the attic and the middle of the road) so we had a landline. You had to have a landline there. There was a phone by the bed so I picked it up and dialed 911. I was able to tell that my house was on fire and my address before the line went dead. The fire had cut off the phone.
It was getting harder to breathe. I went to the window and opened it. Like I said, it was afternoon, and neighbors were looking at the house. One of my neighbors, I think he yelled if anyone had a ladder and someone said someone specifically did and he ran to get it, temporarily stole it from what I remember but gave it back of course, he got the ladder in place, came up and in. At this point the room was filling up with smoke, not that I was aware of much. The smoke was getting to me so I all managed to say at one point was “i’m naked” (I was in my underwear). He pulled the covers off the bed, didn’t occur to me at the time he was just a shadow (because all the smoke) and wrapped me up in it. He picked me up and shoved me out the window, where the fresh air woke me up enough I climbed down the ladder. Upon telling the fire people later (they weren’t there yet, again middle. of. nowhere.) and Dr’s how I was acting, they said I was ThisClose to passing out from smoke inhalation.
My neighbor wasn’t a fire fighter. It wasn’t his job to save me. But he did.
On another note, i’m white (and a nonbinary trans guy but I wasn’t out at the time, even to myself, so I looked, and annoyingly – because that’s not who I am and haven’t been able to transition yet – still do, like a woman, not that any gender has a “look” but you know what I mean) and the guy that saved me is black. My dad said he’d quit the black jokes since a black guy saved me. I was later told that lasted a week.
Anyway right after we got out, flames shot out the window. The fire people still weren’t there. He saved me. Eventually the firefighters did arrive. I’m sure they were going as fast as they could. I can’t say middle. of. nowhere. enough here.
Our lips and such were black, but we weren’t burned. They asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital, and I thought for a second and realized if I didn’t go then my fiancé would make me. I also forget what the hell we did about the fact I had my colostomy then (still do). Must have gotten supplies from the hospital until we could get more I guess. So I went to the hospital. Coughed up smoke for awhile, it hurt.
Was told that my fiancé tried to call me after he got done work but couldn’t get through, so the fire had already cut off the phone by then. He called someone else or they called him, I don’t remember, a friend of his, and told him that there was a fire on our (small!) street. They didn’t know if it was our house or not but that combined with the fact he couldn’t get me on the phone he sped home.
Like I said, our cat Mandi and our dog was outside. I still have them. Though the dog has a tumor now, he has surgery soon to get it removed. I won’t know if it’s benign or malignant until they remove it and check it out. The dog, Bear, will be 11 next month. Mandi turned 13 back in October. The 3 kittens … they died. They probably died before I even woke up. They were 6 months old and there was 2 boys and 1 girl. The girl had just had, 10 days before, her surgery to fix her. It takes 10 days to recover from that …
The guy that saved me, his name is James, James said initially he tried to get in through the front door (I think this was before I went to the window) because it was open, but the fire prevented him from getting through that way.
I had locked the door before I went to bed.
James also told me the downstairs windows were open.
They were shut before I went to bed.
Upon calling someone, I won’t say who, to tell them of the fire, they weren’t shocked. At all. Until they were told I was upstairs asleep.
You can probably put the pieces together.
But it was quickly too late and would’ve been “he said she said”.
I’ve been terrified to say this much about it. And I won’t say anymore.
On one hand i’m glad you can’t convict someone with words, people lie after all. But sometimes that means people get away with shit. Hey, i’m just stating this as a fact.
This is what I remember. I won’t say anything is for certain, and it’s been a long time now. You can do what you want with what I remember. What’s done is done.
Why am I mentioning this now? Because I saw yet another arson joke. “Hypothetically – would it be a crime to set fires so that firefighters come rescue me?”. I see this shit every so often. Different arson jokes. They aren’t fucking funny! I am so tired of them.
On a good note we had a tent in a shed out back and our friends let us use it in their yard. Their wasn’t room inside but we stayed with them for a bit until we could find another place to rent. It was hard with my medical issues but obviously I got through it and it could’ve been worse. I had simmer friends, I love The Sims, online, who i’ve never met, but upon learning what happened made a fundraiser and sent me a care package including books, crystals, a laptop and Sims 2! Stuff they knew i’d love and proved they actually paid attention to me, it was that specific. Due to the fundraiser we were able to find another place sooner.
Don’t EVER tell me online friends aren’t real. Do you fake friends do that? I didn’t think so.
Last year, beginning of the year, we moved into our own home. Weeks later my husband died. Infection left too long, lack of health care because health care here sucks. I heard shortly after we left the previous house we rented, the one we moved into post-fire, it caught on fire to. I truly think that was probably an accident, sort of anyway. There were so many problems, including electrical, with that house and we couldn’t get anyone to do shit about it. We knew it was a ticking time bomb. Seems like I got out of there just in time to.
There are so many reasons, even apart from what i’ve stated here, since birth (I’ll probably make a post about that too someday), that I really shouldn’t be alive. My life doesn’t sound real to me sometimes. Maybe I do have guardian angels or something looking out for me. If so, I wish they’d stop. I am so fucking tired of all the pain. Sorry to be depressing, but that’s my truth.
But at least there is some good here. Seeing that real heroes exist (though James said he doesn’t want to be labeled a hero and refused to have his picture taken for the newspaper) and that online friends can be real friends.