Friday, May 11, 2012

No Fire At My House

When I see peoples homes on fire, it scares me to death. How horrible to lose everything you have owned or worked so hard for to see it burn in an instant. More freightening still are those homes that burn with people inside of them. To wake up and have your home on fire and realize you can't do anything to save the others must be the most devastating, undescribable feeling in the world.

Recently there have been a few homes in our area that have completely burned to the ground. The cause almost every time is faulty electrical wiring or over loaded circuits.  In our area most of the homes are older and have older wiring that flakes and burns. The people that live here simply cannot afford to pay the cost to rewire their homes.

We have been blessed.  The first wire fire we had my husband discovered when our front street light wouldn't work after a huge storm we had in 2007.  When he was digging up the wiring, he discovered about 5 feet of it had burned under ground which caused it to short out (Thank you Jesus!). Hubby continued digging and following the wiring and discovered it had been wired to an old 2 prong extension cord and plugged into the basement in an area we never knew had a plug. The plug was blown out as well.

Hubby rewired with Romax and new box and all was well.  About a year later, hubby goes to turn on grandsons bedroom light and it doesn't work.  He begins the hunt to see what is going on.....you guessed it, the electrical wiring burned in the wall at our GFI plate in the main bathroom.  Now, this still puzzles us because this was brand new Romax wiring.  So he rewired this area.

Our basement he rewired as the sockets kept burning out....well, not exactly burning, but one would work one day and the next time it wouldn't but another one would work, etc. and so on.  However, he has not been able to figure out why we burn through light bulbs like a kid eating candy.  We have tried the low voltage bulbs and those are worse than an incandescent, they become extremely hot we discovered one day when one was dim and then poof, it doesn't work.

We have purchased 10 year bulbs and put dates on them only to find out they last in the basement about a month or so and then poof, they don't work anymore.  Hubby knows something is going on, but so far all the investigation has led to not being able to locate the issue and even an electrician left scratching his head.

The most recent on was the worst scare I have ever had!  I had been home that day and using a small space heater to keep the living room warm. When I left the house, I turned it off. When we returned, it wouldn't work.  When hubby came home from work he went into our bathroom...no light,no fan, no GFI.  He checked all the breaker box and they were fine.  He tried to reset the GFI, no luck.  He turned the main breaker off and back on...no luck.

So he gets  his voltage meter and starts around the house to discover the problem.  He finds it and where he found it will curl your toes or at least it made me sick to my stomach.  The outlet causing the problem was an outlet right next to my granddaughters bed.  I mean, we never use this outlet because you can't reach it as her bed is against the wall.  I cried thinking about what could have happened had their been something plugged into it.

Back to turn off the main breaker.  Hubby opens up the outlet and inside the wires were not only burned, but melted about 4-6 inches inside the wall and stopped. Now, if you do not believe in angels or miracles, I think you should now.  I believe a fire was stopped inside the wall and I praised God for this.

I have always been concerned about fires in this house...it is old, we have no main heat source, we have smelled what seems to be electrical wires burning and even had the fire department out but they couldn't figure it out.  Most of wiring in the walls is Romax and new wiring, but it seems something is wrong.

I haven't been sleeping well since this discovery.  I get up in the middle of the night to make sure the space heaters are off, to cover up the kids and make sure they are warm. I pray over them and the house. I ask myself what building inspections do if the wiring was and has been signed off and is causing these issues?

We are at a cross roads.  Our home is worth about $60K less than when we purchased it and we have put roughly $30K worth of work in it with a new roof, windows, doors, skylight replacement, raised toilets, paint interior and exterior,  new bathroom and hall flooring and I could go on.

Do we walk away?  We are in the process of a loan modification from Wells Fargo, but it doesn't look promising.  While my credit has fallen, I have just as much good as bad on it, but we can't qualify for another home loan. We have looked to lease to own or rent to own and are looking at homes that are newer and would cost less however like so many areas in our country, people need money now and those that have inherited homes or own their homes outright, have been burned to many times to try it again.

I found a home this past week by a fluke. The road was blocked that I normally go down, so I took another pathway home and my grandson said, 'Ranny, that sure is a nice house for sale.' Why did I look at it? It is perfect for us...large yard, no neighbors on one side, private driveway, attached garage, nice kitchen, 3 bedrooms and for me, it is all single level.

I am  going this week-end to talk to the owner about lease to own. Please pray for us in this area.  They are asking only $119k and the house is appraised at $119,900. If I was in a position to barter I probably could, but I am not. So I must go, swallow my pride and be prepared to hear the word, no.

The house directly across the street has been up for sale and empty for almost two years now.  This may or may not work in our favor.

I am just asking for prayer.  Nothing else. That Gods will be done and we find the right house and that while we are here, this house doesn't have another melt down or worse, a fire while we are inside.

4 comments:

Robin said...

It sounds like you have had angels watching over you. I hope that the house you are interested in is a safe one and it works out for you. I know that it would be a relief to go to bed knowing that your house isn't going to catch on fire.

Jenny Crackedcorn said...

You have my prayers :) I hope for all the best for you!

Lisa Cox said...

Here's hoping you have some good luck in getting a new house.
I know how scary a house fire can potentially be. We woke up one morning and I smelled something. It smelled like burning plastic. Searched all over the house and found out that the brand new GFI outlet we had put in the bathroom just the month before had shorted out and instead of tripping the breaker like it was supposed to, it just started burning. There was ash all over the white tile I had just installed and black scorch marks up the wall that I had just painted.

Shawnee H said...

Scarrrrry! Praying that you find a new home quickly. Did you talk to the sellers yet?