February Starts Off With a Bang

Today, after making the aforementioned banana bread, G and I were getting ready to go see a movie.  We were just about to head out the door when we heard a loud “BOOM!” outside.  “Transformer!” we both said in unison, but none of our lights flickered or went out.  Then I happened to look out the kitchen window to the garage and saw a large piece of the fascia board over the entrance door hanging off the electrical wires that go from the house to the garage.  Something had blown up in there!

We ran out (rather stupidly I realize now), and felt the door, then I went to get our extra garage door opener and tried that but it wouldn’t work.  I ran back into the house to call 911 and G opened the door and a cloud of what we thought was smoke billowed out.  In short order, our street was closed off the police cars, fire trucks and paramedics and we had at least 20 fire fighters in and around the garage.

Apparently, the big air compressor that the previous owner had installed in the top of the garage had some kind of malfunction, either an electrical short or something and had built up pressure and had exploded.  The compressor itself seemed intact, but one of the end caps was gone and some of the pipes/conduits that had been connected to it were blown off.

The force of the explosion literally twisted the garage door and wrenched it off its track and hinges.  Later, after we called the garage door people, we found out that a power surge or short circuit had fried the circuit board as well.

All of the camping stuff, etc. that was on the top shelf of the storage area across the garage from the compressor was strewn around the garage and tons of old, nasty insulation was everywhere, including all over the car.  That’s what we thought was smoke–powdered insulation.

The miracle is that the brand new, full of gas car that was sitting nearly right UNDER the damn air compressor was completely undamaged, other than having one of the retractable side mirrors pushed in a bit.  The airbags did not deploy and nothing that got blown around in the garage hit the car.

The firemen (and women) gave us the all clear, the electric company unhooked the compressor from the electrical system all together and we have 3 different estimates for a new garage door. G called the insurance company and hopefully they will cover the cost of replacing that minus the deductible.

G was so upset because she worries about electrical mishaps continually.  I was so relieved when I realized that nothing was really damaged that I spent all afternoon reminding her about how lucky we were.  We were just minutes from walking out of the house to the garage to go to the movie, so somebody up there was really looking out for us today.  We can open the garage door manually for now, and aside from G turning off the main breaker to the house before the firefighters arrived, we didn’t even lose power.

We’re going nowhere tonight and will be counting our blessings for a long time to come. Oh, and we wrote a big thank you note to Subaru, too.

Count your blessings, everybody!

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