Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Meeting our new Neighbors

Remember how your mother always warned you
(and maybe still does!)
to be careful what kind of underwear you wear
because you never know when you may
be in an accident?
As a freshman in high school that came to my mind one day
as I waited in the emergency room
following a car accident.
I hope they were presentable.
I can't remember anymore.
But I do remember thinking about it.

Well, yesterday, I added a new one:
Be careful what you wear to paint in
because you may end up on the nightly news!

Yep, that's what happened.
Both Warren and I.
In some of the worst clothes we own.
My hair was a mess and....
Well, that's not really what this story is about.

Last week, for Warren's birthday,
I bought him a house.
Okay, that's not really true.
It just happen to close on his birthday.
Anyway, we bought it to try our hand at the rental
market while at the same time, hopefully,
helping out our monthly income.

The house is in pretty good condition seeing that it was built in '77
so the list isn't that long of what we need to do to get it rent able.
First of all, wallpaper needed to be removed (my job)
and painting needed to begin. (Warren's job)

When Warren got to the Master bedroom he noticed a box
on the closet shelf
and soon I was summoned to take a look.
Two (2) grenades.
After deciding it probably wasn't a good idea to throw them in the garbage
(we don't have trash pick-up there anyway!)
we decided we would get the number for the police the next day
and call them then.
We didn't think it warranted a 911 call.

A bit later Warren informed me that the police were on their way.
He had remembered that there was a phone book out in the trash pile
and got the number for the police so he had called them.
Then we got a phone call.
We were to exit the house until they got there.

Man, that was going to slow down the work!

Soon, we saw two police cars pull up. (they always come in twos)
They took Warren back in to check things out
and came back with mixed opinions.
But joint in the opinion that
the bomb squad needed to be called.
Police continued to come.
(at one time I counted 10 police cars lining our street)
and then the chief (or so we think)
from the bomb squad.
All of a sudden we were told to get in our vehicle and drive down the road a ways.
Crime scene - do not enter tape was strung across our property line.
We were told they were smoke grenades.
They weren't as concerned about those.
BUT in the box (of which Warren hadn't taken out to examine)
were two metal canisters of ether.
We were also told it was enough to blow up our house
but not enough to evacuate the neighborhood.
(not sure how much that would have to be!)
They knew they were old because of the metal casing.
Ether is no longer packaged in metal because it is prone
to deteriorate and then leak.
Ours was doing just that.
It also crystallizes with age.
And there lies the danger.
More of the bomb squad was called along with the truck and
trailer that carries "the canister".
"The canister" has a hydraulic lift on it for the lid and also for the
tub that lies inside of it.
Here the hazardous material is laid and then
carefully (with the use of the hydraulic lift)
put into the protective canister.
We watched as two bomb squad, fully armored, guys went into our house
to retrieve the explosives.
One man simply used a flashlight to direct the other man's carefully
placed feet as he carried that
"which could blow up our house"!
Two trips were made to get it out.
After it was safely in the canister Warren was asked if we knew of anything
else that would give us concern in the house.
Warren mentioned a box that he had seen in the crawlspace under the house.
Sure enough!
Some type of flares and different firework type of things
that could definitely explode with the heat that we get in a
Tennessee summer.

About 3 hours from start to finish we were told we could once again
enter our house.

We, along with one of our new neighbors,
were interviewed for a piece on
Chattanooga's channel 3 news.
Thus the concern for what I was wearing.

All in all
we never felt afraid.
We didn't realize that we had been in any danger until
we were already in a safe zone.
All in all
it's made for some pretty good
story telling.
I love stories.
That's what makes life interesting.

I did wear the same thing when we went back today.
We were painting after all.
And surely that was a once-in-a-lifetime thing!!!!!

These are not pictures of our house on fire
(it was still standing when we left today)
I just added them because Kellie said pictures make for
a more interesting post!


Mainely Me said...

We just never know what's lurking in our lives, huh? Thankful you are safe.

Anonymous said...

Oh Sheri this is a great story to tell all the grandkids. Leave it to you and Warren:) Glad Warren called the police. Cindy

David Jensen said...

Good idea with the pictures, now I think your life is like an action movie!

Anonymous said...

I always love your stories! Yes this is exciting, but you have a way of telling the facts that make things so exciting and fun! Am sure you would rather have been painting. I think you guys look great on TV!