I had all 4 kids, who were panicking by now, and sent them inside (but James to bed for a nap, and let the kids watch TV- Disney Junior is calming). I went around to the back to see and I had this view of the rear of their house. No one was home (thank the Lord!) but they had some animals that they needed to get out. The firemen called it a 2 alarm fire, and we had 6 fire trucks, 3 ambulances, and 3 fire chief trucks. Our whole street was blocked off, and it was so scary for us. The positive side is that we got to meet many of our neighbors and get some phone numbers in case of any other emergency.
The big kids did see the fire, and I let them come out periodically to watch the ladders at work. I know it was a lot for them to handle, and to see the damage and to know that the family is no longer there because of the fire really hits home with the kids. It began in the 2nd floor, and up in the attic and we are still waiting to hear what the cause was. The heat melted the siding on the houses right next to it, and I am grateful that our homes are not close together.
We were driving through town a couple days later, and saw a fire truck go in the direction of our neighborhood, and all the kids in the car stopped talking. Each one of them asked if it was going to our house. I admit that my heart sank just seeing that, and each time I have heard sirens while at home. We are learning to be more thankful of all our "things" and our comforts, and have been sure to make a schedule to change our smoke detector batteries.