Monday, December 2, 2013

Furnace Inferno

When Baltimore started getting chilly, we turned on our heat. Rather, we tried to turn on our heat. But no heat. A little investigation determined that the fairly new furnace the seller installed in this house was too big for the house, so for our safety, it just kept itself turned off. Which was a really good thing, considering that the ductwork around the furnace was deficient, too.

The inspector missed this during our home inspection.

So we were cold, very cold. Temperatures were in the 40s, and it looked like we were going to have to shell out $5,000 for a new furnace, which, of course, we do not have.

As we were reconciling ourselves to a year of hustling to pay for the furnace, I went to Michigan to teach at the Clever Ewe retreat. And something went very wrong, some perfect storm of safety switch failure and dangerously substandard ductwork.

AND THERE WAS FIRE.


The fire was contained in the furnace and ducts, but the smoke and soot was EVERYWHERE.



It spewed from the vents on the second floor. My friend Karida, who stopped by the house in the immediate aftermath, related this story over the phone:

"It's like Victorian England in there. The bed is covered with soot. And your pretty orange girl cat was sitting on the bed, totally black. And Chris pet her, and his hand came away black."

When I got back to Baltimore on Monday, a cleaning crew had been scrubbing for a few days, and a specialty dry cleaning company had packed every bit of fabric out of our house for cleaning. The house smelled strongly of burning plastic.

We're fortunate, though. We're fine. The cats are fine. We now have heat, and the smell is gone. (Or is it? Have I just become accustomed to it?) Today the dry cleaners returned our clothes. After a week of scouring, the cleaners determined that the second floor needs to be completely repainted and the bedrooms need to be recarpeted, but we had planned those projects for the upcoming year anyway. 

The past few weeks, though, have been exhausting. It will be another few weeks before I feel caught up and in control of my life again. So bear with me as I return to some nearly completed design work.



ALSO: THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who purchased patterns during my Veterans Day promotion! I raised nearly $500 for the Wounded Warrior Project, and those of you who won prizes have been informed!

3 comments:

Oona said...

So sorry to hear of your disaster. And glad to know that no living creatures were injured. Those fumes are no joke. I hope your homeowners' insurance pays for repairs? I've been missing your posts, and now understand the silence all too well. Best wishes for the cleanup!

Lee said...

Yikes! How did the yarn fare?

Elizabeth Bevis said...

Holy Crap.
We've never met, but I have been following your work for a while and am here in Baltimore. Can I buy you and your husband a drink sometime? That sounds like an awful couple of weeks.

Best wishes,
Betsy