Spoiler Alert: Everybody's OK. Even the animals.
Early Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of smoke alarms and dogs barking. I grabbed my phone and the dogs and got out of the house and quickly as possible. Helen and the kids were staying at a hotel in Collinsville for Archon so I didn't have to worry about them.
I tried to call 911 but between the adrenaline and trying to hold the dogs I couldn't get my phone to work. I ended up banging on a neighbor's door and having them call. Later I discovered that my phone was on airplane mode.
The fire department showed up and put out the fire. As a side effect of this they also broke a lot of windows and kicked in some doors. One of the firefighters asked me if I had tried to put out the fire myself. When I said no they replied "I asked because the water in the kitchen sink was running." I tried to imagine myself putting out a fire with the sprayer attachment from my kitchen sink.
Actually I never even saw the fire. The fire department said it started in the dryer. They eventually let go in to get a few things. The water in the kitchen sink was still running. My guess is that one of the firefighters knocked into the faucet.
My neighbors were really supportive during all of this. We put leashes on the dogs so that I didn't have to keep holding them. Someone gave me a bottle of water.
I called the insurance company and got that process started. They arranged to have someone come out to board up the house. They also made hotel reservations for me. For a few days we'll be staying in the Resdidence Inn. There were no vacancies for a 2 bedroom on Saturday night so I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. This worked out okay because Helen and the kids still had the hotel room in Collinsville.
I changed out of my pajamas into some smoke infused clothes. Once it was lighter I looked round the house some more. Water was leaking from the pipes near where the fire was so I turned off the water. I was a little surprised that they didn't shut off the water when they shut off the gas and electricity.
I waited around for the house to be boarded up. Later I checked into the Holiday Inn Express and took a shower. I tried to take a nap but couldn't really sleep. Since all of my clothes smell like smoke I went to Walmart and bought some clothes.