My best friend and roommate, Linda, came home one day and announced that she purchased 10 cases of water! They were in the truck and back seat of her car – could I bring them into the house? “What are we going to do with 10 cases of water?”, I asked. “We’ll use them!” was her response. Little did I know that just a few days later, those cases of water would really come in handy.
We live in townhouse #2 of a row of 5 town homes. Some of these homes share an adjoining wall. One Saturday afternoon in August 2015, I was sitting on the back patio my friend Donna, while Linda was in the house reading. “It’s too hot to sit outside”, she explained. She was right – it was over 100 degrees!
Well, it was just after 3:00 in the afternoon when we suddenly heard a very loud “BOOM”. I immediately put on my flip flops and ran through the back door, through the house, and out the front door to try and find out what had caused the loud explosion. I immediately realized that the town home two doors down – townhouse #4 was not only on fire – the flames were shooting up to what looked like about 10 or 12 feet! SHOCK!
Charlotte, who lived in the town home that experienced an explosion and was on fire, came running out of the house screaming, “CALL 911, CALL 911, CALL 911!”
Linda, Donna and I immediately went into action. We called 911. We recognized that the fire had already spread to the homes on either side – home #3 and home #5. As the home next door was on fire, we ran to help them. As our next door neighbor, Judy, was carrying one of three dogs out of the house, Linda helped her and I went into the smoke-filled home to find her husband, Harry. Harry was trying to put papers into a small suitcase. Due to the heaviness of the smoke, I grabbed papers out of his hand, shoved them into the suitcase, and exclaimed, “You have to get out of your house – NOW!” My thought was that if I took the suitcase, he would follow. He did.
Linda called to me to move our cars out of our garage, due to the close proximity of the fire – after all, the house next door to us was also on fire and our home is only about 3 feet away from this home. We grabbed our precious dog and our computers, and ran outside. Due to the heat, Donna took our dog and computers and put them all in the car. She started the car to have A/C on for the dog. Remember – it’s over 100 degrees outside!
Linda and I made eye contact and went into our house to pray. We commanded the fire to not touch our house, in Jesus’ Name. [Remember, Jesus said to speak to your mountain and it will be removed.] We plead the blood of Jesus over our home. “Nothing missing, nothing broken”, we prayed. We prayed for the safety and security of others, in Jesus’ Name.
We then ran outside to help everyone else. Linda recognized that house #5 was on fire, and felt the need to go to that home. She knocked on the front door and recognized that there was a dog inside – but our neighbors were not home. She immediately found someone, who was then able to get a fireman to break open the door. The neighbor ran up the stairs – with flames on either side of him – and grab the neighbor’s large dog. Another neighbor volunteered to take the dog to their house to keep cool.
Those 10 cases of water? Yeah. They came in handy. We kept our garage door open and would carry the cases of water that were stacked up inside our home out to the firemen, who were standing about 3 feet from our property all the way down to the last house. In all, we heard that over 15 fire trucks showed up, of which only 3 could fit in front and around the court in which our homes reside. Some of these trucks came from over 20 miles away. We were thankful for the fireman who hosed our home down with water, as the flames came within about 5 feet from our house, and even closer if you consider that we have a wood arbor that nearly touches our neighbor’s home.
The fire started around 3:15 in the afternoon and the fire trucks left after 10:00 p.m. with a warning that we should watch the homes in case the fire started up again! Which it did, by the way, twice. Thank You, Lord, He had a fire truck come back and check the property around 11:30, in which the fireman saw a spark reignite, and the owner of the home come by around 1:00 p.m. who happen to notice the fire reignite yet again and called the fire department!
There was much more to tell about this situation, but here are the amazing miracles that God performed – first, our house was protected. In fact, we found burnt embers on our wood arbor and on our wood balcony in the back of our house, all of which could have sparked our house to catch on fire, but did not. Glory to God!
Second, and this is really amazing, there was absolutely no smell of smoke inside our home. We left both the garage door open as well as the door from the garage to the home. We kept opening the door to carry cases of water out to the firemen. We kept opening the doors to let our neighbors and people inside. We also opened our side patio doors to the fire chief and all of people that he interviewed. While the smell of smoke was heavy outside, there was no smell of smoke inside our home.
Take a step outside our home – there was an extreme smell of smoke. Take a step inside our home – NO smell of smoke. Repeat. Repeat again and again. We NEVER experienced the smell of smoke in our house.
It was a Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego moment.
In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image and commanded that all his officials bow down before it. All who failed to do so would be thrown into a blazing furnace. Certain officials informed the king that the three Jewish youths Hanania, Mishael, and Azaria, who bore the Babylonian names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and whom the king had appointed to high office in Babylon, were refusing to worship the golden statue. The three were brought before Nebuchadnezzar, where they informed the king that their God would be with them. Nebuchadnezzar commanded that these 3 men, wearing their robes, trousers, and other clothes, were to be bound and thrown into the blazing furnace, heated seven times hotter than normal, but when the king looked he saw four figures, and not three, (one looked like the son of God) walking unharmed in the flames. Seeing this, Nebuchadnezzar brought the youths out of the flames. Everyone saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! He promoted them to even higher office, decreeing that any who spoke against their God should be torn limb from limb.
We were reminded of the verses in Malachi 3:10-11:
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.
11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts
God rebuked the devourer for our sake. More than a year later, we still thank God for protecting our home. He is amazing!!