It Could’ve Been So Much Worse

Last night I got home from the grocery store, all set to make chicken fajitas. I wondered why my husband wasn’t home yet. I knew he went to check on our business. Just then my phone rang.

“Jen, I’m going to be late for dinner. There’s been a fire, and it’s going to be awhile.”


I fed the dog and rushed out of the house. I arrived in the parking lot ten minutes later. There were three extra long fire trucks, lights flashing. It was difficult to maneuver in the crowded lot.

At least fifteen firefighters were in our store. The ceiling panels were knocked out and wires hung from the rafters. But nothing looked charred, except for the insulation that came down with the panels.

In the chaos, I couldn’t see my husband. A firefighter told me he was in the back. I needed to go through the shop next door, to stay out of the way. I found him, looking sweaty, dusty, and in disbelief.

“What happened?”

“I came in here to check on things, like I always do. It was fine, so I left. But I forgot my sunglasses, so had to come back. That’s when I smelled smoke. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. I went into the back room, looked up, and saw an orange glow. I called 911 right away.”

Thank God he forgot his sunglasses and had to go back.

We don’t have to be at our business full time. We check on it every day, but at different times. It was a miracle he was there at that moment.

I don’t even want to think about what would’ve happened if he wasn’t. The entire strip mall could’ve been on fire. But because my husband was there, at the right time, it was knocked out quickly. Nothing burned except for ceiling insulation. No one was hurt.

It was a huge mess. The firefighters removed all the ceiling tiles and singed insulation, and dumped it in the back. My husband and I were left with a very dusty, dirty store with the smell of smoke hanging in the air. The cause couldn’t be determined. Possibly electric.

We wiped grime off surfaces and swept the floor as best we could. It was dark. The firefighters had recommended we turn off the power.

We were touched by all the people who stopped by, genuinely concerned about us and our business. We’ve been in the neighborhood for years.

We are so fortunate.

That my husband happened to be there.

For the firefighters.

For our concerned customers, our strip mall neighbors, and people we don’t know, who stopped to talk and offer their condolences.

It’s going to be a hectic day, as we get ready to reopen. Tonight we’re planning to relax. I’ll make those chicken fajitas and watch the convention. Just like we were going to last night.


Image courtesy of here

54 thoughts on “It Could’ve Been So Much Worse

  1. Thank goodness he went back for the sunglasses! It’s funny how such a small choice can change the events that follow. Even something as small as going back for his sunglasses, a choice that he had no idea how great of an impact it would have. Had he decided to just leave without them and grab them the next time he was at the store, he’d likely wonder what would’ve happened had he just gone back for them. Thank goodness he paid attention to the small sign the universe gave him even though he didn’t know it was one at the time. I’m glad everyone is safe and it was limited to the incident it was. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I’m so glad that you are safe, that your business is safe, and that the fire was quickly contained! What a string of fortuitous events! If there had to be a fire, I can’t imagine everything working out more smoothly. Your very level and optimistic (but also realistic) way of approaching the situation is a model for dealing with stressful situations. You have come so far in coping with your anxiety!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey Jenny…wow I’m so glad everyone is okay. That must have been so scary. God put your husband in the right place at the right time. Things can be fixed; people are the most important. I love how you still went right on with your chicken fajita plans and the convention. We all just have to keep moving!
    Traci XO

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am so sorry that the fire had started on your business. I am glad to know that no one was hurt or injured due to that. Hope that everything will be better for your family and business. The concern that the others showed you show how much compassion they have. It is great to know that such kindness still exists. Much love.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your well wishes, I appreciate that! Yes, people have shown so much kindness. Other business owners in the center continue to stop by and check to see how we’re doing. Even a few of the firefighters have stopped in. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh wow, I seriously believe the universe conspires to give the best to those sincere and good-hearted souls and incidents like this just proves it time and again. So SO glad that your husband went back for the glasses and discovered this at the right time. And your positive attitude is so motivating Jenny.

    Liked by 1 person

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