My family has a storage shed, umm, probably less than a hundred feet from the house. Yesterday my dad was working in his woodshop over at the barn (I told you guys I won the Redneck Olympics) and heard a popping noise. At first he thought it was someone shooting (another sign of how rural our homestead is; gunshots are no cause for alarm because they probably just mean that someone's hunting or target shooting), but he went over to the house and the shed was on fire. (EDIT: We don't know yet how it started, but I suspect faulty wiring, perhaps in my dad's old workshop in the shed.) He managed to move his truck, which was very close to the flames and has substantial damage, and burned his hand on the steering wheel in the process (not severely, thank God). He tried to move my brother's car but the flames were already underneath it so thank God he didn't try harder. As it was Dad had to keep the leaves and bushes wet to keep the house from catching on fire. Some neighbors apparently saw and came to help and someone called the Rescue Squad (what passes for fire coverage in our neck of the woods). Mom says it's still smouldering this morning.
Everything that was in the shed is gone. All they've found of my brother's dirt bike was a tiny piece of plastic. I'm really glad my dad had moved most of his woodworking stuff over to the barn.
Plus, my brother's brand-new cherry-red Mustang (he got it so recently that I haven't even seen it) is gone. Mom says he's taking the loss of it (and his dirt bike) very well. At least the Mustang was insured, as was most of the stuff in the shed. I was the lucky one in the family; all I had in there (that I can remember, anyway, and if you can't remember it you're not gonna miss it) was a crate of books from my rabid romance-collecting days which I was probably never going to read anyway. Though the selfish part of my brain does mourn the out-of-print Carla Kelly Regency romances that were in there. I would have liked to have read those. And there were a fair number of family heirlooms that Mom mentioned... things like my great-grandmother's side saddle. (Not that I'd ever seen it. We're packrats.)
We're okay. No one was hurt (well, except Dad's hand, but Mom says it didn't require treatment), and the house is okay. If Dad hadn't been home, we'd have lost everything. If Dad had tried to move Brad's car and been overcome, we'd have lost more than everything. We're damn lucky that it was the shed instead of the house:
Mom: The stuff that we lost, we can do without.
Me: We were doing without it already. That's why it was in the shed.
We were damn lucky. The thing that's freaking me out is how close we came to being damn unlucky.