Monday, May 11, 2009

Home


This past Saturday was a sad one in our family. Zack's childhood home was burned to the ground. They lived in that house for 23 years. The company that bought the property from the Churches offered to let the Pleasant Grove Fire Department use it for about 6 weeks to train their men. The Fire Chief was kind enough to call the Churches and let us come to see it in it's final moments.


The firefighters did some little exercises inside for a bit and then they came pouring out of the home and said that it was time. They started the fire in the upper west side (Matt's bedroom) and it roared down the hall to the massive balcony that overlooked their lovely living room. Then it went downstairs and consumed the rest. It was so hard to watch. The firefighters said that it took 8 minutes for it to become completely engulfed.I believe that it was at least a 6,000 square foot home that they built all on their own nearly from scratch. So much of their hard work brought so much joy to so many.


I believe that there was at least 200-300 people who stopped by to see it. So many people have been a part of that home. We even had our wedding reception there. Zack didn't want to go at all, but I thought it might be fun for the boys to go see it. Boy was I wrong. The minute we turned the corner and saw the little wisps of smoke, I burst into tears. We parked at the church next door and walked over. The firefighters were so kind and let us go right up to the front of the home.



Zack kept his distance, but finally joined the rest of the family. Everyone kept saying that his emotions were close to the surface - that is a big understatement. All of his memories, the good and the bad, I am sure came rushing back to him. Our sons also shed tears of sorrow, particularly Mikey. When his Aunt Kali asked him what his favorite memories were, he immediately said, "Chocolate chip pancakes". I am so glad that they have such great and warm memories of this home. I have a great sorrow for Scotty and Emily who never will. I think Scotty was too young to remember it. Zack's dad didn't even come. It was hard enough for him to see the enormous plume of smoke from across the lake In Saratoga Springs. To be honest, I am glad he didn't come.


Here is a great close up of the beautiful double sided fireplace we all enjoyed.

Here is the news clip from the fire. It's a bit choppy, but still neat to watch.

I have been going through so many different feelings and thoughts. Today, I am surprised to find that I am dealing with anger and then back to sadness. Zack and I are working so hard to make sure that our children have warm fuzzies about our own home. Thank you so much, mom and dad, for such sweet memories.

18 comments:

Erika said...

Oh man, that made ME cry! I can't imagine being there, or it being my own home! I even tear up at the thought of leaving the house we're in now someday, much less living there for over 20 years and seeing it burn into nothing. I've never been attached to a home, until our home now. It's good the boys have all those memories!

Shelley Eggett said...

Amber -

Maleah and I happened to watch it on Saturday. I saw you at the church, but couldn't get your attention. We didn't get out of the car. We were on our way to Macey's and took a detour to watch the fire. At the time I didn't know it was Zach's parents house. I've been to that house a few times, then yesterday as we went to Pleasant Grove and I showed Kent where it was, he told me that was Zach's parents house.

How sad!!! That would be hard to see so many memories go up in flames. I'm glad they got to use it for a training. Fire is just amazing. It was just incredible to watch. It scared Maleah pretty bad, she didn't want to watch.

Rachel said...

wow. what an emotional ride. i think i would have reacted like you . . . at first thinking it would be no big deal and then BAM. it's a really big deal.

so emotional. it really puts into perspective how "things" just aren't what this world is all about.

Laurie M said...

How sad for your whole family. That would break my heart to see the house I grew up in burned to the ground. Note to self...never sell your property to the fire dept.

Heath and Jessica said...

Thanks for posting the pics, they brought tears to my eyes. Even though I didn't grow up in that house, being cousins with the Church's, it was my home away from home. I remember playing cops & robbers,sprinting up the stairs, I remember Matt jumping so high on the trampoline that they put in the middle of the front room & he would give you five while you were standing up on the balcony. I have so many other wonderful memories from that place! It will be a place that will be greatly missed!

The Bennetts said...

Marisa and I saw it burning from Orem and we drove past and never knew it had such meaning to someone we knew. You'd have thought there was a stake picnic going from all the people at the church. Crazy.

Aunt Susan said...

Wow..how very wild!!! thanks for sharing this with me.. Poor Zack....dust to dust..

Stacy said...

I know how you all must feel. I also have lost my childhood home and still feel a little lost in the world knowing that all I have left are the memories. There really is a grieving process you have to go through, even when it's just a material thing that you can't take with you. I did manage to grab me a shutter before it was gone for good though.

Wendi Oyler said...

How sad, that breaks my heart. I cried when we sold my gma's house about 10 yrs ago and still to this day I wish I could go back inside, but I still have great memories in my mind- the smell, the creaky step, the old board I wrote my name on. I just hope I can make the same kind of memories in my home.
ps. Scotty cracks me up every Sunday. He usually tells us at very random times, at least a couple times during the lesson that his birthday is in July. so funny.

amy said...

I've wondered what would happen to it. I was sure it would be torn down for new development. What a way to go!

That house was awesome! I was lucky enough to be invited there a few times when Bro. Church was the Institute choir director. I LOVED it...I've yet to see one like it.
I even heart-attacked it once. :) (That took FOREVER, as you can imagine.)

That would be hard to watch. But I'm selfish, in that, I'd rather see it burn to the ground than have other people live in it.

Steffi said...

Oh my gosh! Another memory of my stay in PG was wiped out! So sad. I have just been there once, but that I do remember exactly. Best wishes from Germany. Steffi

Jackie said...

I had no idea that Zach's childhood home was burned down. Did you know that it was going to be for fire fighter training??? I'm so sorry for the heartache. That must have been so hard to see. If there is anything I can do just let me know.

♫ Spasm ♫ said...

oh goodness, that just tugged at my heart. HUgs to Zach and you guys

Meredith said...

That is SO crazy. I can't even imagine watching the house I grew up in (let alone built) on fire. How come the people that bought it did that? Did they just want the land?

Jennie said...

So sad! It looked like a beautiful house. I can't imagine having to watch that. I just keep thinking though, it could be the house you were still living in and all of your personal things were being burned too. That's the only thing that could make this worse. It kind of gives you sympathy for those that loose their homes to an unexpected fire. I'm so sorry!

Jessica said...

Hey I saw this yesterday, but didn't have time to leave a comment--so now I forget what I was going to comment about. But I think If I put so much work & love (my family) into building something so Grande (the house where I raised my whole family)--I wouldn't want to be there to watch it burn either. That makes me feel a little emotional too for the Church's, Kids, and Grandkids especially. I guess they had to move on --I hope there are lots of pictures to go with the memories though!

Tonya said...

wow!!! i can not believe this...what a memeory!

Garrett said...

That must have been amazing seeing the house burn. Liked the pictures. Can't believe how beautiful it is there with the mountains in the background. Sure beats the flat ground in Houston.