On 31 October 1987 (Halloween night) our house caught on fire. My family refers to this event as the ”Fire of 87.”
The fire started in the attic and destroyed the front part of the house. The roof over the living room and dining room was gone. There was also some damage to the master bedroom. The house was uninhabitable after that night.
We had just moved in, so most of our stuff was still in boxes in the back part of the house. That fact saved most of our personal items and greatly reduced the amount of stuff that was lost in the fire.
We spent the night at my grandparent’s house, and the next day the insurance company helped us get a rental house. We lived there for the next 3 months while our house was being rebuilt.
I was a teenager when all of this happened. My parents said we were moving to a temporary house, our house would be rebuilt, the stuff we lost would be replaced, and then we would move back to our home. I just accepted that answer and never considered the financial aspects of it all. How much would it cost to rent the house, rebuild our house, replace the items that were lost, and cover all the other expenses that were related to the fire? Who would pay for all of this?
We were lucky that night. We had insurance and that is how all of those expenses were paid. I know insurance can seem like a pain when you are paying the bill every month, but it could mean the difference between having your home replaced or becoming homeless.
I know most people don’t think about their home being destroyed, but it could happen to anyone. It can happen in matter of minutes. It can happen on an ordinary day. It can happen without any warning signs. I know this is true, because that’s how it happened to my family.