Fire!

The other day our neighbor’s house caught on fire. Our son, who celebrated his 50th birthday two days ago, saw it and went inside to find one of the neighbors just waking up from a nap. The smoke disoriented her so Jeff carried her out of the house to safety. Then he went back in to get the dogs and cats out of the house. Sadly he missed one of the cats who expired from smoke inhalation.

911 was called right away, before flames were evident, and firetrucks arrived quickly. During that short wait, the fire exploded into a major event that destroyed one end of the home before the hoses were turned off.

Here’s the progression …

The fire was so hot the aluminum window frames melted into puddles. That’s Gabby the goat, in case you’re wondering.

The burning house happened during a visit by our Winnebago Friends. The guys came to work our RV which was immobile because the parking brake was on for such a long time that the rear shoes rusted to the drums. There is a lot of information on the internet about this “common” problem, but none of them worked for me. I was stuck. In order to make the brake drums more accessible I figured jacking up the rear end and putting it on jack stands. Sitting low makes it really hard to get under it to work.

I borrowed a air jack and jack stands from cousin Don and Jeff got busy getting one stand in place. It lasted a little while before the ground gave way allowing the RV to slide about 12″ to the left (looking from the rear) toward a retaining wall. Another foot would have made contact. So, that plan was nixed and we left the RV resting on about 4″ of wood which turned out to be enough for the Winnebago Guys to wiggle under and do their magic.

Finding the solution took about 30 minutes for those guys. A small flat pry bar and a pipe wrench were the key to success. By prying one shoe loose, the RV was once again mobile.

Then we addressed the problem with the leveling jacks. They wouldn’t work. That was an easy one, too, but I wasn’t prepared to do simple. I, like many people, dive right in to a problem figuring it was extremely difficult to solve. Although all the literature I read pointed out the need to have 12 vdc available at all times for these things to work, it never occurred to me that the batteries might be the problem. Turns out that was it. Adding some distilled water to the offending units and letting them charge over night. solved the problem. Yea.

So, the RV is fully functional. We celebrated by getting a condo in Seaside where we could just kick back and do nothing for 3 days.

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