More InfoOK, so the insurance adjuster is on the case and I'll know more tomorrow about the policy issue (if it's even an issue).
I also spoke to the guy who'd bought the adjacent lot. He was quite helpful. He described the damage. He's a fireman so he knows what he's looking at. He explained what steps I needed to take next. He's very helpful. He'd been out clearing brush on his lot on the 3rd and all was well. When he drove past on the 4th and saw the caution tape and the burnt part, he was dumbfounded. So sometime between the afternoon of the 3rd and the 4th, someone set the fire.
I'd like to know the time if they can pinpoint it. Because what's getting to me is, the house was probably on fire right around the time that my sister and I were arguing. Or shortly thereafter. Remember the strange sense of calm and peace I felt afterwards?
And I had absolutely no premonitions, no dreams, nothing about the fire. Usually I do.
Apparently, the damage is contained to one part of the old house, but it goes all the way up and a good portion of the roof is gone. (It's two stories plus an attic one can stand up in, so it's like three stories.) IHHO, structurally the house is still sound (and standing), and it is fixable, but probably costly. But the township might rather condemn it. It could go either way. Depends on what everyone decides (insurance, the township).
I'm looking at it as a positive. Trying really hard. I mean, this just HAS to be a blessing in disguise. It HAS to. (The alternative is too cruel to consider.) If it can be fixed, maybe someone will be moved to do so and buy it anyway. If it can't, then... maybe it's best to demolish it, then let someone buy the lot and rebuild. I mean, we DO still have the land. The land can still be sold. Sure, it'll be less profit for us to split and we might have to pay for demolition of the rest of it, and there might be insurance money to help with that... it's too soon to know yet.
There IS still hope.
It's just a complete shock. And, though I let go of the house earlier this year, it still feels like a death. Because even if it's fixed, that part of the house is forever gone. It's dying. It hurts.
Lot 2 suggested we find someone to secure the house, because it's still exposed to the elements (needs a tarp) and the doors are wide open. His concern... if it was an intentional malicious arson, they could return to finish the job.
My thoughts are, they didn't need access to set the first fire... but yes the open wound needs protected. And that would be really sad if someone was mean enough to burn it all the way down.
But... if that's what's meant to happen, maybe it would be for the better. If it were going to come to us having to demolish it, perhaps they'd be doing us a favor.
I don't know. I'm still trying to process it, and I haven't eaten yet today.
But I'm OK... considering. One of my friends said, "Well, in the past months, you've screamed, cried, and expressed every other emotion over all of this except one."
I said, "Which one?"
She said "Laughter."
She said it's so bizarre and unbelievable that about all you can do now IS to laugh, and maybe that's what God's trying to get me to do. Learn to laugh through my trials and learn to find the blessings in disguise.
Then her son came by and asked if I had any beef jerky (we were on the phone, Ohio to Vermont).
I said, "No, but I have some HOUSE jerky."
Heh. Lame, but it's a start.
There is one positive thing, I guess. My sister and I are on speaking terms again, united in our misery and loss.
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