Thursday, July 15, 2004

Monday morning, my friend Catherine called to say
her son's apartment burned down.   Could I go to
Portland and help him salvage what they could?   So I
made a couple calls, and freed myself up to go.  

As it turns out, the fire was two stories above them.  
They had smoke damage and water damage, but
nothing in their apartment had burned.   They needed
to move, and we needed to see what we could save.  

Moving is a lot of work.   Moving suddenly, with most
of your stuff soaking wet, covered with soot, or both,
is huge.   Chris and Stephanie had a two bedroom
apartment they'd been living in for two and a half
years.   She's an artist, and he runs a computer based
business from home as well as working in another
location.   They had a lot of stuff.  

Fortunately, a lot of their friends pitched in.   And
Chris and Steff got out safely with their cats.   Most of
Steff's art seemed to have made it.   They were still
waiting on the computers to dry before testing them.  

Catherine and I arrived a little after noon Monday,
and worked until 8:30, packing and moving.  
Tuesday, we finished out emptying the old
apartment.   The complex rented them another unit,
a little ways up the hill.   We moved everything into it.  
Catherine washed the dishes we had to move dirty.  
Their was no water or electricity at the old place.   The
firemen told them to throw away all the food,
because the smoke would be toxic.   So I took Steff to
Costco and Winco to refill their pantry and fridge.  

Then they went to buy a new bedspring and

Then we started on the laundry.   Everything they
owned made of cloth needed washing.   We found a
quiet laundromat, and the owner kindly agreed to
stay open late so we could wash.   We had wet clothes
and blankets and linens all in big black garbage bags,
filling the back of Catherine's van and Chris's X-terra
SUV.   They threw away two bags full as they sorted,
and found another bag of smoky but dry clothes to
send to Goodwill.   We kept 7 washers running, and 8
dryers, for the next five hours, and left the
laundromat about 11:30 pm.  

Doug's parents, Mo and Lois, let us stay with them.  
With everything moved, the house starting to be in
order, and all the laundry done, the worst was over.  
Catherine and I drove back to Bend yesterday.