Profile headshot of Ekta

The Burning of my House and my Fears

Ekta, Long Reach HS, Class of 2020

Near devastation and an understanding family allowed Ekta to learn to overcome fear.

September 22, 2016, it was a good day with the perfect amount sun and the mild weather! But my cousin and I came home to my non-English-speaking grandparents starving, so I decided to make mozzarella sticks. I turn on the stove to high and took out the frier. I also had to use the bathroom so I thought while the oil gets hot, let me go change into comfy clothes and use the bathroom. As I go upstairs, instead of changing, I lay in my bed for 10 minutes. Then I realized I should go change and go back downstairs. After changing I used the bathroom. But all of the sudden the fire alarm goes off and my grandfather starts screaming my name. So I go down to and I see the fire. The fryer was covered with flames and smoke was everywhere. My grandfather opened the door.

But I knew that we had to leave before anything got worse. But my grandfather would not listen to me and I was so frustrated.

I called my cousin from his room and he made my grandparents leave the house. While we left, we took the house phone with us and we called 911. I was balling my eyes out and screaming with fear. On the other hand, my grandfather kept yelling at me. I also realized I didn’t turn off my grandfather’s oxygen tank so that gave me more stress. After we called the fire department, we called my mom. I was about to pee my pants because I was scared that I was going to get in so trouble. But a few minutes after, my uncles and aunt came home from work, and they had no clue what was going on. My aunt saw me crying and asked me what happened but no words could come out my mouth. My cousin told her what happened and she told me it was ok and comforted me. I saw my mom pull up. I started crying even more.

When she walked out of her car I could tell she was mad but my aunt stopped her from saying anything. I saw the firefighters talk to my mom about what happened. She told me the house was fine just the kitchen was burned. That gave me some relief. But when I went inside the whole stove was messed up, all the walls were black and all the oil was everywhere. All my dad’s friends came to my house to see what had happened and I was so embarrassed because I didn’t want anyone to know. During dinner my dad came back from work to the damage and I got extremely scared. I was always scared of my dad but luckily he didn’t say anything and he went back to work.

We had to live with the burned walls for a good month and we got a new stove!

A month later we had to go to a hotel because we were getting our kitchen fixed. I was happy and sad at the same time. I wanted a new kitchen but I also didn’t want to live at a hotel. That Friday we went back home and I was so happy to see our new kitchen. But my mom talked to me and told me that this incident should never be a fear. It’s ok that it happened but learn from it. I will never stop you from cooking or frying, she said. My mom and aunts taught me that life happens, and life brings scary memories, but we should never fear them. Instead, we should embrace them, and learn from them.

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