Tuesday, October 28, 2008

4am Ringing Phones Never Bring Good News

I'm sitting here watching tv. Getting ready to go to bed. I hear a phone ringing and assume it's the tv. I mean really, it's 4:30am here and no one is going to be calling. I mute the tv however just to be on the safe side, no more ringing. Ok, just the tv. Once the next commercial came on, I decided I'd better check just in case something happened to my mom or Shawn on their way to work. I immediately see the light on the phone blinking, indicating I have a new message. Heart rate picks up. Then I realize I have no idea what the number is. My brain goes through all possibilities. Something happened to someone at work and one of their friends called from their cell to tell me. Wrong number. Could be anything. I listen to the message. It's my mom. The message is garbled but I understood, house fire and won't be into work, might come to your house to get warm. Heart rate resumes intense speed. I still have no idea who's number I'm calling but I dial it anyways. My brother answers. Oh yeah, he got a new cell phone. Need to write that number down. I ask him what happened. I'll tell you what I know as of right now. My brother, Jason woke up around 3am and noticed his small box fan had stopped working. Being a male, he decided to hit it a few times. The fan came back on but at a lower speed that it was supposed to be on. Jason went back to sleep. Half hour later, he wakes up because he smells something and keeps hearing a crackling/popping sound. By now he's waking up and thinking wtf? He looks at the ceiling, no fire coming from there and then he looks towards the outlet in his room. Sparks are coming out of his outlet and far. He rips the power cord out of the wall. (it's connected to his tv, and computer stuff so it's got a surge protector) He goes downstairs to tell my mom something is definitely messed up in the house. While he's explaining, the lights continue to dim and then flare up really bright. I'm sure there was quite a few wtf moments. They called the fire department. At some point and time, the refrigerator door was opened and the bulb blew just from being turned on. Turned on a light in the bathroom and it blew. The fire department gets there, goes upstairs to my brother's room and the sparks have stopped but now they're hearing noise from the room next door, my mom's bedroom. They go in there and there's sparks and smoke coming from my mom's outlets. Another fireman goes in the basement and thinks the light is messed up so he tries to screw it back in so he can see what he's doing. That bulb blows and smoke starts coming from it. They turn off the power to the house. They checked the house for any hot spots or any sign that there may be fire in the walls but didn't find anything. There is no power going to my mom's house now. Some how (I don't remember how) they find that it's the power line causing the surges in power to the house. Basically, the line would send in only half the normal amount of power to the house and then it would try to make up for that lost power by sending in 1 1/2 power. The surges in power were causing the sparks from the outlets. Who knows how much of the electrical stuff is fried, including the conductors and wires going to and from each room. It's really scary to think what could happen when they DO get the power working correctly. Could something be messed up in the walls that they won't notice right away and then catch fire later? This is the second or third time the house has tried to burn down. One was New Year's Eve several years ago, the ceiling light in the kitchen caught fire, I put it out, called the neighbor told him to call the fire department if the house burned down and went to a party. (hey I was young and I made sure to call and tell my mom what had happened) AEP will be out today to do whatever they're going to do. If my brother for whatever reason, hadn't been there, there's a good chance my mom's house would've burned down. My grandmother, mom and brother all live in that house, along with numerous pets. It's going to be hard for me to fall asleep. Your adrenaline gets going even though the actual event is over with and there's nothing you can do to stop it, not when people you love are involved. I called my husband after getting off the phone with my brother. I'm sure I freaked him out a little bit as well. Now he has something to talk about at lunch. If they all get too cold at the house (did I mention it's STILL snowing that white stuff?) then they'll be heading over here. I may not sleep much today. Breath, relax, get comfortable and maybe sleep. Or repeat the first three until the last one happens. Me and my brother joked before we got off the phone that maybe he should go upstairs and blow out the candles he was using to see in his room. They'd have to call out the fire department again and then tell AEP there's no more need to come to a house that doesn't exist. Morbid jokes to make light of a scary situation. That's how we roll. ;)~ In case either of you two forgot.


Lisa said...

I would be having an electrician go over everything in that house and re-wire if needed. That could be a catastrophic situation, I don't think I need to mention that though.

I hope they take it seriously and get it checked out on their own as well as the power company.

Adirondackcountrygal said...

I'm so glad no one got hurt. Maybe the electric company should be responsible for the power surges. They will need to get someone in there to test the lines after and make sure its safe.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Sounds like a complicated situation. Hope it is something simple like a transformer that is failing, but the power surge description sounds unusual. If it is an older house, it could be the wiring that is at fault. Hope it all works out.

Beth said...

Definitely a scary situation! I hope you get some answers soon, and I'm glad no one was hurt!

Urgh, the snow. Nooooo! Ken and I are still sitting here in our warm robes...because that IS the way we roll. ;)

Love, Beth

Kelly said...

That is really scary. I would see about getting a electrician out to evaluate the wiring in the house after that kind of scare. I am glad your family is okay and the house didnt burn down! Still, that is really scary. I hope the power company will fix the lines leading into the house if thats what was causing it.

Wayne Images said...

Good grief! Email me and tell me where everyone is and how everyone is doing. Perry's trying to make some calls but isn't sure if he can get through.

We upgraded our email at work so I lost a huge number of addresses, including yours.

I thank God that everyone is okay!!!


Wes said...

I glad it wasn't worse,and that all is good for now. There is something wrong for sure, and hope the problem gets fixed. I hope you were able to get some rest, and that your family is relaxed as well. Please have a good evening, and a peaceful morning.


Indigo said...

Nothing good ever comes from 4AM calls. Glad your mom and brother are safe. Hope you get some answers soon. (Hugs)Indigo