A Little Fire Prevention Goes A Long Way

Homes on the west side of Key Harbour caught fire around 4:15 a.m. on June 19, 2019.

Hello, lovelies!

It’s so nice to be here with you today. It always makes me smile when I get to spend time with wonderful Y-O-U! You may already know this, but in case you don’t, our home at Key Harbour burned to the ground last Wednesday (6/19/2019) in the largest fire on Perdido Key in over 30 years. It only took 23 minutes for the homes to burn to the ground. (Yikes!)

Rebekah, our daughter (and only child) was there, by herself, when the fire broke out. We’re very, Very, VERY thankful that she’s fine. Fortunately, everybody else is, too. While 14 of the 20 homes at Key Harbour are a total loss, we’re among those for whom it isn’t a primary residence. Sadly, several families have nothing left – at all. We’re making our way through, thanks to your love and encouragement.

My family and I are so, so grateful for your kindness, your concern, and your prayers.

You’re a blessing to us all and we will never, ever be able to convey how much your thoughtfulness, generosity, and love mean to us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Please keep the others affected by the fire in your thoughts and prayers, too. So many of them are even more devastated than we are.

Thank you so very much for your kindness during this challenging time.

So, where do we go from here?

Well, Rick is one smart cookie and he’s already working with our (very compassionate) adjustor. Rebekah’s new car should be here by Friday and I’m making our “contents list” for the insurance company. I’m sure it’ll be quite a while before rebuilding begins. (There’s an ongoing investigation to find the cause of the fire.) But we’ll be ready and waiting. 😉

Key Harbour fire on June 19, 2019

In the meanwhile, I’ve become a HUGE advocate for fire safety.

If you don’t have smoke detectors and heat detectors in your house, please, Please, PLEASE call your local fire department for guidance on how to get them in place ASAP! (Many times, the fire department will install them for you, free of charge.) I was able to get my hands on some very helpful resources that I want to share with you, too.

Click on the links below to download whichever guides you may need…

Home Fire Sprinklers

Fire Safety At Your Home Away From Home

Home Safety Checklist

Electrical Safety

Clothes Dryer Safety


And if you do have smoke alarms/heat detectors in your home, please have them checked by professionals every year. Sensors can fail even though the batteries are working fine (i.e., they beep and the light blinks). That’s something I didn’t know. Did you? The sensors in wireless detectors (like that one in the picture above) are usually good for 5 years. Yes, they may last longer, but don’t count on it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Oh – and test the batteries every single month.

Hard wired detectors/sensors (like we have in our home – and that one above) are usually set up to send a signal every 8 hours, so if they’re not working properly your monitoring service will notice and assist you in correcting the problem. We have heat sensors above our kitchen cooktop/stove, over the hot water heater, and over the inside return air unit for our HVAC system. We also have smoke detectors in the hallway (near the bedrooms) both upstairs and downstairs. We’ll be adding more smoke detectors – one in each bedroom and one in each room with a fireplace or wood-burning stove (and maybe more!).

Events like this fire will shake you to your core.

Strong faith, family, and friends are what help you through the rough patches and I’m so thankful to have all three in spades.

Next week, we’ll return to chatting about all things needlepoint. Thank you for humoring me this week while I’m on my fire prevention soapbox.

Until next time, happy stitching!

Stitch with a smile!





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Serendipity Needleworks

Hi, I’m Ellen. A needlepoint teacher and author dedicated to helping motivated but overwhelmed stitchers at every stage find exactly what they need to stitch with confidence. Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the needlepoint world or you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, I’ve fine-tuned a learning experience just for you.

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