The furnace that caught fire

There have only been a few times in my adult life where I was genuinely afraid. When my wife had to have a c-section to deliver our first child, I was the most afraid I’d ever been. After a few other close calls where my life was in danger, there was another experience in a new home that left me sleepless for days. It happened one night when the baby had just been laid down for the evening, and my wife and I were in bed watching TV. We’d noticed over the past few days that the furnace would create this burning rubber smell for a few minutes when it first came on, but the smell would disappear. This night, the smell lingered for over ten minutes. My wife and I seemed to notice it at the same time, and I climbed out of bed to go downstairs to check out the source of the smell. When I opened the door to my basement, I felt a massive surge of adrenaline push through my body as I saw the sight below – the entire basement was on fire, and a ton of smoke came pouring out of the door! I ran faster than I’ve ever ran in my life to go upstairs, yelling for my wife to quickly run outside and call 911. As I ran to grab the baby from his nursery, I made my way downstairs and met my wife outside, who was still on the phone with emergency services. I couldn’t believe that the furnace had fallen apart like that! The fire department arrived within five minutes, and worked to put the fire out, but much of the house was destroyed. We were scared out of our wits, and couldn’t begin to think about the financial hardship that was just dropped on us, but we were glad to escape with our lives! That was several years ago now, and while we’ve since found a new home, I’m forever paranoid about making sure the furnace is in perfect working order.