Sunday, 22 April 2012

A miraculous escape

This account relates to an incident which occurred on 25 January 2012.

It seemed just like another ordinary working day. Everything was proceeding as normal until around 3pm the telephone at my desk rang. It was my wife Nithya. She said there was a fire at Evans Autos, a car dealership firm, very close to our house. Our road, as well as the main round around Evans Autos, was blocked off. Thick black smoke, billowing out from the fire, hung in the air around the vicinity. It was obviously a major incident. Nithya was going to take Anya, our daughter, and stay at my parents’ house. She said she would call me later when she gets more information.

Fire behind Evans Autos
My heart sank and I began to worry. Would our house be burnt down? That disastrous thought filled me with grief and anxiety. We had spent the years after getting married in that house and losing it would mean losing a great part of our life. There was nothing to do but pray quietly. I asked God for His protection. My mind disturbed and distressed was unable to concentrate again on my work. The minutes seemed to pass by a lot more slowly.

Nithya phoned again at 5pm from outside our road. Her voice sounded calm and I heard some chuckling in the background. That gave me hope that the fire was under control and our house would be saved. Nithya said she didn’t know how long it would be before our road would be opened again. So she would go back to my parents’ house and wait there.
Our house in the background
I finished work slightly earlier than usual. As I drove back home, I heard about the incident on the traffic news on the radio. That confirmed that this was a major incident. Still I was hopeful. I reached our road at 6pm. It was no longer blocked off. There was the smell of smoke all around, but seeing my house still standing and undamaged filled me with great relief. Tears of joy welled up in my eyes as I opened the front door of my house. I stood in front of the picture of Jesus in the living room and thanked Him for saving my house. It seemed like a miraculous escape.

Looking out of the window in the bedroom on the first floor, I saw how close the fire had been - just several yards away on the other side of the wooden fence at the end of the terrace. The fire had engulfed a set of small garages that had been standing there. There were still some firemen in the area making sure any remaining fire was completely extinguished.

View from bedroom window shows destroyed garages
The next day I learnt more about the incident. The fire took hold around 2.30pm, and as many as six fire engines and thirty firemen were called out to put it out. The smoke could even be seen from a few miles away. By any standards this was a major incident.

Things could have happened very differently and I could be recounting a very different tale today. For that I am grateful to the fire services and, most importantly, to God. As my neighbour commented a few days later, there really seemed to be an element of divine intervention is this incident. This only convinced us to persist with our daily Rosaries and prayers, for this world is such an unpredictable place.


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Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello JL,

I am relieved to read that that nothing untoward happened to your house. Thank God. I know you would gone through a nightmare imagining the worst since you were not at the location of fire and actually didn't know what was being done to put out the fire. Fire services should be congratulated for the fast action. Some fires become major disasters because the fire dept. is slow to reach the spot of fire. Well, as you said it is certainly a divine intervention.

It is an excellent practice to say the rosary every day with the family. This is something wonderful. When I hear the whole family saying the rosary a joy fills my heart.

Best wishes to you and your wonderful family,

....Petty Witter said...

Grief, what a horrendous experience though as you say things could have been so much worse.