So let me start this post by saying that I am hungry and very, very tired so don’t mind any mistakes…I am sure I will make several since I am doing this via cell phone…
I had a very exciting night at the barn tonight, and not the kind of excitement that I want. I got out of work to late to ride, so I decided to head straight to Gen’s. I had considered giving him a bath, but after last time and with dark quickly coming I figured I would just cuddle with him and fuss over him instead. It has been a rough week so I just needed some pony time. Just as I finished up one of the other boarders drove up. I had put Gen away but stayed to chat for a few minutes.
While we were chatting I watched Gen go to the top corner of his field. That is normal so I didn’t think much of it, what was weird was that he was not staring at me. Normally if I am in eye range he is totally focused. Tonight he would look at me and then look out across the field and back to me and across again etc. The other boarders horse started to get fussy and at about the same time we both got a wiff of smoke. We stopped talking and looked at each other. Knowing my horse like I do I realized that my Gennyral was doing his lassie impression and trying to tell me something so I started to walk up the side of the hill to go see him.
As I was walking the other boarder and I started to hear sirens…and lots of them. When I got to the top of the field I couldn’t see a fire, but there was a lot of smoke around. Gen had a clear eye line past the next door neighbors house and across the street so I did what any normal person would and I decided to go see what is going on. Gen lives in total horse country so my big fear was that one of the barns across the street had caught fire. I had just gotten out of the driveway when a State Trooper stopped me and told me that the road was closed. I looked out to where Gen had been looking and I saw a house engulfed in flames. Like scary engulfed in flames. Like had I not known there was a house there it would have just looked like fire and smoke.
I told the trooper that there was a horse farm at the end of the driveway. Luckily it is a long driveway and the fire was across the road, but it was a windy day so he told me, “I don’t want to alarm you, but I think it would be in your best interest right now to go back to the barn and get yourself ready in case we need to evacuate. We have prime fire conditions and it would only take one ember floating away”. I didn’t need to hear more. I quickly turned around called the barn owner (who had just left for work) in a panic. For those of you that know me you can feel free to laugh. Yes, I am trained in crisis, but when it comes to my Gen I can’t help but freak out. He is my baby! I think I would handle a fire at my own house better than I did the thought of a fire at the barn.
After a quick exchange I learned that her husband was on his way home and that she wanted the horses in. We went back and fourth for a minute about it (I wanted them out) but she pointed out that if there was a problem we would all be at the barn anyway and this way if we needed to move the horses they would all be contained (we have a fully blind horse at the barn so she had a point). While I went to bring in the other boarder went down to see how bad it was (I hadn’t thought to count fire trucks or anything like that).
I spent the next 10 minutes in pure panic mode. I was texting 6 people at once looking for the numbers of friends of friends who had barns that we could walk the horses to if need be (my truck was 30 minutes away in the garage and barn owner with the SUV was at work). It was so scary to just hear fire truck after fire truck down the road. The barn owners husband managed to come in the back way so it was the three of us just sitting in the barn being worried. When the barn owner called me again to sooth me (I really did need soothing) I started to relax. For one thing we had a really long driveway so the barn itself was about 1/4 mile from the fire. For another there were a ton of fire trucks so God forbid something did happen help would be right there. Not to mention the fact that the fire would need to cross the road. Plus I had gotten numbers to 4 barns in walking distance that we knew would take us in if there was a problem.
All of that was enough to get me out of panic mode. For another 20 minutes more and more fire trucks kept coming, but I was better. The other boarder decided to ride since we couldn’t go anywhere so I hung around with her which was distracting. About an hour after the initial fire truck came we heard what sounded like some trucks leaving. The road had been dead quiet so we hopped that was a good sign. After we heard the third truck leave the barn owners husband went down to investigate. He came back with good news. The fire was almost under control, they thought it would be in control within the hour.
I just checked the news and seven different towns sent fire companies to help fight the blaze. The initial reports are that there are no injures (I was so worried so that was very good to read). I hung around the barn until after 8:00 and went to confirm with the police that the blaze was indeed under control. They told me that it was under control but not out yet (I literally have never seen so many full sized fire engines together in my life). I couldn’t see any more flames so I decided I felt okay enough to leave.
I went back to the barn to share the good news and brushed Gen a second time just as an excuse to fuss over him. Poor guy was roasting in the 60 degree barn with his winter coat on so he was happy to be in the aisle breeze and spend some extra time with Mommy. Thankfully it looks like Gen is safe and sound. That was a little too close for comfort in my taste though! Poor home owners…I hope that the reports are correct and that everyone was okay.