Monday, December 22, 2008

Pictures don't do it justice.

We visited my parents yesterday. Our first stop was to see the aftermath of the fire and the damage it had wreaked on their home. I have to admit that when I first saw that the roof wasn't totally gone I thought, "Oh, it's not as bad as I thought." But then I looked inside the garage and I thought again.

Reef said "UH-OH" when he saw it.

Their "garage" was 900 square feet and finished. It was the sales office and model home for their development so it had carpet, walls, cabinets, french doors, etc. It could have been rented out as a studio apartment

The picture to the left looks very much like other areas of the roof. Those areas have been tarped off because they are over rooms of the house that didn't burn as bad as the garage. It was strange standing there, looking up through where the ceiling, then the attic, and then the attic ceiling would have been and seeing the sky. And hearing the rain falling on the tarp was disconcerting. It sounded like you were in a tent.... except you were in a house. Very WEIRD.

This is my parents bathroom, the farthest room from the garage which sustained the "least" amount of damage. You can see evidence of the fire & smoke that were coming out of the vents. Every room in the house has these black water streaks. They're even on the ceilings. Well.... on the ceilings that still remain, anyhow.

This is the bathroom that my mom had been showering in while the blazing inferno was building. Very scary to think how just a few moments could have resulted in a different outcome.

The laundry room is the only thing standing between the garage and this bathroom. I couldn't get a good photo but if you look at the very left of this picture you'll see the doorjam of the laundry room. That will give you an idea as to how charred it got. So much for catching up on the laundry, Mom!

I liken this picture to a soaked audience at the Shamu show at Sea World. This truck being the audience on the front row. But Shamu was the fire and the water was a big fire ball that shot out when the garage opened.

Good thing my sister already had her new car. This truck won't be going anywhere for awhile. Poor thing. They couldn't find the keys to move it out of the driveway.

I took pictures of the inside, too but won't post them. Everything is melted and contorted. There is soot-covered shattered glass all over the seat and floor.

Most things were unrecognizable. Nobody is allowed in the garage at the moment. It's too dangerous. But even if we could go in and sift through the remains, I don't think there would be anything to identify.

But there were a few objects scattered outside that we were able to name:

This gold & white Santa figurine. This lighted wreath.

This yard waste garbage can. This suitcase.

Like the title of this post says... pictures don't do it justice. These pictures look mild in comparison to how it looks in person. And pictures don't capture the putrid smell of smoke that not only lingers in the air but also in your hair and clothes for hours afterward. My stomach was in knots by the time we left from the smell alone.

There was an eerie feeling standing inside this shell of a house. Life used to happen within those blackened walls. Now it is deathly still and dark inside. Almost as if life is at a standstill. No sounds of music or TV. No telephone ringing. No smells of moms yummy cooking wafting from the kitchen. My mom said she feels like she's visiting a gravesite or feels as if she's at a funeral viewing when she goes there. That's a good way to describe it. I was in awe of the damage and carnage that was left in the wake of this fire. It's indescribeable, really. But amongst all of the ash and falling ceilings there are signs of life already striving to continue.

And continue it will.


Eric and Lydia said...

Oh, how sad. It's hard to imagine how scary that must have been for your family until you see the pictures.

D-dawg said...

Wow that is so sad. I'm really sorry for your family.

How funny that we swapped towns yesterday.

I hope you guys have Merry Christmas!

Stefani said...

Woah! I didn't realize...this is bad. Where are they staying? Not the house. Right?

Tiffiny Sowards said...

My parents are staying in a rental in Discovery Bay. We've been there and it's really nice. But Reef keeps asking when we can go to their "old" house. Insurance tycoons are saying it will be a year or more before they can go back. But a "home" is wherever you make it, I guess.

Raimi said...

Hey Tiffiny!

So much fun to catch up with you & your cute family via the world of blogging.
I am so sorry for your parents loss. i am glad they are safe...very scary! My eyes were tearing up just viewing your photos.

Hope you had a very Merry chrismtas! Tell the family HI for me.