Had a fire here last week. My neighbour's shed caught fire with a car full of petrol in it, and went up in flames. We were all told to get out of our houses, and when we did, the extent of the fire became clear. Three people called 999, and we were all told that the engines were on their way. It was dark, but the village was lit up by the flames. The strong wind was blowing the fire towards my garden and suddenly my new (and full) oil tank blew up, taking out the shed and half the garden. Burning oil was running down the road, and bits of burning oil were blowing around the thatch. The fire engines took 40 minutes to arrive and by the time they did, fire was threatening the house. They took two hours to put it out
No one died, the cats are safe and the house is OK. I looked at the damage in daylight - there was a charred side of the shed, two trees were burnt beyond saving, the wall was a mess and worst of all, the grass was black and oil soaked. The stench of oil was ghastly. I did the usual things like call the insurance people and arrange for a loss adjuster to come to see the site. The upshot is that the site has been cleared into a skip, the new oil tank arrives on Monday, followed by an oil delivery, and after fixing new pipes the men will light the Rayburn to make sure it works. I have had no heating, apart from electric heaters, and no oven. I have no idea about Christmas. I'll leave the question of the topsoil until the new year.
I was fine, albeit shocked, until Wednesday, when I felt the tendrils of depression creep round me. Now my mood has plummeted and the Home Treatment team are looking after me. I'm not sleeping and I've become obsessive about leaving electric sockets on. I can't light the wood burner until I've had the chimney swept. I find it difficult to go out of the house in case something happens.
I'll keep you posted.
I spent 16 years in the RAF defending the Free World , then got bunged out unceremoniously for being bipolar. I and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Funny old world, isn't it?