Six Minutes: An Out-of-Control Barn Fire

6 minutes—the time it took from the first smoulder of smoke to full-blown flames licking at the rooftop of the barn.

“Daddy, I’m in the barn, the side-by-side is on fire and I can’t get a hold of anyone.”⁠⁠

6 minutes—the time it took for my husband to jump in his truck, race down the highway, see smoke billowing from the treetops and wonder if his daughter made it out, or not.⁠⁠

“911, what’s your emergency?”

6 minutes—the time it took for me to pack up my beach stuff, walk across the sand dunes to my car, drop my son off at his grandmother’s after getting a call from my frantic husband.⁠⁠

“Mica’s alone at the barn, there’s a fire, can you get ahold of the owner?”⁠⁠

6 minutes—the time it took for the firefighters to respond and get on the scene, to a barn, already fully engulfed in flames.⁠⁠

“There’s a fire and I tried to put it out but it keeps getting bigger. I’m worried the barn will catch fire.”⁠⁠

6 minutes baby girl:

  • the time it took to conceive you
  • ⁠the time it took to push you out into the world
  • ⁠the time it took for your Dad to walk from the delivery room to the NICU, carrying you in his arms, praying he didn’t drop you⁠⁠

“Where’s Mica? Is Mica out? What’s happening? I’m on my way, I’ll be there soon.”⁠⁠

6 minutes dear reader:

  • ⁠⁠the time it takes to sit with your kids and talk to them about fire⁠⁠
  • the time it takes to check your smoke detectors and walk through your escape routes⁠⁠
  • the time it takes to learn how to operate a fire extinguisher

“I tried putting it out with water from my water bottle, only using a little bit because I know some fires get worse when you add water. That didn’t work, so I got the garden hose and buckets. Then the side-by-side started to melt. Then the barn started to burn.” ⁠⁠

6 minutes:⁠⁠ The time it takes for a fire to rage out of control.⁠⁠

6 minutes:⁠⁠ The time it took for her to fall asleep in my arms last night.

This shows the burnt side-by-side after the fire was put out.

This barn fire happened while my daughter was doing routine barn chores—hauling water and picking up fresh manure.

Luckily, my daughter acted fast, there was no wind, the owner arrived quickly, firefighters were on site shortly after and all horses are safe and no one was injured.

Fire extinguishers were on-site and used, but they couldn’t compete with the number and strength of flames. The side by side in question was a CF MOTO 2018, Uforce 500.

But it could have been so much worse.

Many barn fires kill people and animals, raging quickly out of control.

I don’t say any of this to scare you—but I think it’s important to understand what the real risks are to our children and how we can help keep them safe.

As much as I’d love to keep them in a box and never let them leave the house, that’s not an ideal parenting solution, is it?

Arm yourself with facts. Know the risks and what you can do to mitigate them.

I remember when I used to skydive, my instructor reminded me that the most deadly part of skydiving, was driving to the drop zone (I tried to tell that to myself as I hurtled out of perfectly good airplanes, with a parachute strapped to my back).

And he was right—motor vehicle accidents are probably the most dangerous thing you do with and without your kids.

Fire hazards are rated closely behind car accidents: According to Stanford University, fires kill 500 children under the age of 14, every year.

With some simple measures, you can reduce the risk of harm to yourself, your kids and your employees. It’s important to learn about fire safety from fire safety experts.

Here are a few helpful links to follow:

>>To learn more about fire safety in Nova Scotia, click here.

>>To see what the NFPA says about fire safety, click here.

>>To learn about ways to protect your home from fire, and what the top causes of fire are, click here.

I’m not a fire expert, so please do your own research. But I do credit my training in emergency fire fighting from when I worked in offshore oil and gas, for being the kind of parent who made her kids do fire drills when they were young (as young as 2).

We have an escape plan, they know not to hide, we sleep with our bedroom doors closed, we check our smoke detectors regularly and they’ve been shown how to use a fire extinguisher.

Even today, when I check into hotels or AirBnb’s, I walk the escape route with them, we count how many doors are between us and the nearest escape, and if there’s no smoke detector, you better believe I’m not sleeping there.

Another thing I’ve drilled into them, is how quickly fire spreads and that the moment you see fire, you call for help and find your escape route.

And as much as I’d like to credit myself for my daughter’s quick action the day of the fire, the credit goes to her.

She didn’t panic. She initially tried to put it out, she called for help, and she knew when to walk away.

As a parent, I couldn’t be more proud.

If you found this post helpful, please consider sharing it to raise awareness.

Thanks for reading dear one, and stay safe xoxox

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