Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Burning Down the House

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I’m scared of setting the house on fire. It’s not like I want to set the house on fire and I don’t trust myself. It’s just that I’d like to start oil painting again, but I’m scared that the brush cleaner will ignite and cover the entire house in flames.

You can’t blame me. There is a little picture of that very fire right on the bottle of brush cleaner. The little guy has his arms in the air because he is covered with flames that have been ignited by the pilot light of the furnace. If I look at that picture long enough, I can see myself in place of that little guy in the safety warning picture. My arms are in the air and I’m trying to locate the dog and cats so we can get out of the house before the brush cleaner kills us all.

You can’t blame me. That is exactly how the condo across the way burned down in a flurry of flame. It was July and everyone thought that kids must have started the fire with some random fireworks. It was later that we learned that the artist who lived in that unit spilled some of her brush cleaner and the vapors traveled to the pilot light before she could clean it up. Within two hours, everything was gone. They called the fire departments for Taylorsville, West Jordan and West Valley. Mike and I were watching the fire from the safety of our condo when the windows blew out. We could feel the heat from the blast in our own building and it was then when we realized that we were not safe. The firemen saved our condo, but the place across the way was devastated.

I used to paint in the basement all the time at our house in West Jordan. Even though the furnace was so close, the basement was just one huge room with plenty of ventilation. I had very little fear of fire there. This new house in Sugarhouse has so many leaks that I don’t even feel safe upstairs because the vapors could creep downstairs and find the furnace. I’ve only painted one painting since we moved in July and I worried the entire time.

Mike has tried to reason with me. Cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires, followed by heating equipment failure, electrical distribution equipment failure, smoking, and candle fires. Oil painting doesn’t even make the top five. There is no logical reason for me to be scared of setting the house on fire, but I’m not a Vulcan. I am a Human and we get skittish for no reason sometimes.


1 Comment »

  1. My house burned down when I was 14 and it was years before I would even touch a match. I think I would be skittish, too.

    Could you work in a different medium until you become more comfortable?

    Comment by Zuly — 3/2/2004 @ 8:18 pm

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