Near Death New Years

Nothing like some good ol' fashioned fear of God to start the year off right.

Our basement is totaled.

The toilet down there got hung up on something when it flushed. Maybe it was a turd. I like the thought of some literal piece of shit trashing my basement. Somehow the flapper in the tank remained in the open position and continued sending water out past the bowl and into the bathroom floor. From there it continued under the bathroom door and out through the rest of the basement rooms. I got home and one of the kids yelled "The basement is flooding!" I ran down and helped shut off the toilet. Water was simply everywhere. "Grey water" is the term I would later learn. Not as bad as black water, I guess, but still shitty.

We called the insurance company and then we called a water damage company. They brought fans to blow on the floor for the next several days. We were left sleeping on the floor upstairs instead of our bed. A few days later we were able to get the insurance company to hook us up with a hotel room but we were expecting company. Rebekah still slept on the floor because Sahmari woke up and there was no way all three of us were sleeping on one small bed. Yet it was better than last night back at home.

The other problem was that my brother and his family had just come into town. They were OK with sleeping in the guest room and family room upstairs since the fans were going downstairs. We’d work it out. But the next morning my brother Aaron texted us at breakfast and said the fire department was at the house along with the energy company. The carbon monoxide alarm went off at one in the morning, then again around seven. He said when the firemen tested the air and saw the reading they were dead serious ordered everyone out. They shut off all the dryer fans and dehumidifiers downstairs. They opened all of the windows and got everyone out safely.

Apparently, those high-powered fans were sucking air from the wall furnace and hot water heater and blowing it into the house. The remediation team should have known better than to place them so close to the furnace. (Isn't that the first thing they teach you in remediation school--don't kill your client). They also should have left some windows open a bit. Aaron and his family could have been goners, but fortunately the carbon monoxide detectors went off correctly and the fire department got right over there. The gas company was also very prompt when they initially smelled gas but they said everything checked out. The remediation company (who will remain unnamed) has otherwise been very good, except for that little thing about almost killing five people.