So aah... Hey everyone!
First of all - Thank you all SO SO FREAKING MUCH. Holy crap. The concern and outpouring of support and concern as not really something we expected or felt we deserved, but it's been so deeply appreciated.
Seriously - I'll never be able to repay everyone who has helped out, from donating to just simply caring.
Second of all - I'm sorry for not stopping in here sooner! I saw that Dave had shared this up on the PC Authority page, but didn't think to dig in further and check here...
(I also feel pretty bad for not stopping in here more often over the last few years :( A large chunk of my offline friend group these days are still all from Atomic, so I still feel kinda connected to the community but I fell off the forums... Maybe I can change that?)
Thirdly - The GoFundMe was truly a lifesaver! We were insured and so felt guilty initially about everyone being so generous but it damned well saved our arses from some serious hardship, because Insurance took well over 2 months to get anything worthwhile to us... And that GoFundMe helped us skate through by the skin of our teeth and not default on anything while still being able to pay for essentials. So again, thank you!
Anyway, I guess you'd all like to hear the story from my point of view, and then what's happened since and what next? Well, if so, you're in luck!
And so... Kurai and I were on a Cruise (Paid for by her amazing, and Cruise addicted, Parents!) and were just starting to get comfy and relax... when we found out there'd been a fire at our place...
Apparently at sometime around 4am our neighbour had awoken to the sounds of breaking glass - and walking outside (Thinking someone was having a bust-up on the street or something), saw the dreaded orange glow from our window. He called the Fire Brigade and proceeded to run over and try and save us by wedging open our back door and then smashing our bedroom windows (He didn't know we weren't there, plus both our cars were in the driveway!), which was A) Super Heroic and awesome of him and B) Saved our cats who were able to escape! (To be caught later and both are doing fine now!).
The Fire Brigade turned up (Apparently only 6 minutes after the phone call!) and proceeded to look for us also, thinking we were home - but not long after a friend of ours who lived just up the street had wandered down to the commotion and realising it was our place had made himself known to the authorities and he cleared up a few things.
My friend then also contacted a couple of other friends of ours that could handle things for us a bit better while we were away, and they turned up and spent pretty much all day running around helping, organising and just damned well being amazing friends.
It's important to note at this point, that Kurai and I were still fast asleep on a ship in the middle of the ocean at this point. Dreaming about how many cocktails we were going to have that day while sitting by the poolside and doing a whole lot of very little.
By the time we woke up and heard about it was pretty much all over...
So - Yeah. By the time the fire was out half our house was pretty much completely gutted, with the other half severely smoke damaged... Our cats had been seen to escape which was our first and most pressing concern, and... we were in the middle of ocean unable to do anything about it. Which kinda sucked...
The staff on the ship were lovely and let us make a couple of free international calls to Insurance and the Fire Investigator so we could get things moving, and then it was just lots of trying to stay calm and enjoy what we could - which... let's face it, came a lot easier when you're on a cruise ship and travelling to tropical islands! But was still pretty shitty.
The fire itself was apparently started by/on/in a fault power-board down next to my computer desk... A boring old 4 port beige power board that I'm pretty sure was running 3 monitors and my keyboards power adaptor and hadn't been touched in yeeeeears. Maybe the cats had knocked it something? Who knows - but at least it was "one of those things" rather than negligence!
Anyway, we got home a few days after the fire (It was only a 7 day cruise) and the next month or so was a blur of talking to insurance about everything, looking for somewhere to rent (Paid for by Insurance!), and trying to our lives back in order and paying all the bills and fee's coming our way.
But we made it!
We've got a rental property just the suburb over from our house that let us have our Dog (Who had been staying at a friends house during our trip so was never in any danger) and our 2 cats. We don't have a lot of furniture, but we have a couch and a bed and a table, along with an old TV someone lent us and we're doing o.k!
Insurance has only just this past couple of weeks progressed our claim from "Investigations" (a mysterious secret squirrel department that you can't talk to at all, while try and find a way to get out of paying you) to "Progressing" so we've got some money for our contents and the house has been assessed as a full knock down rebuild and is now out to tender with a couple of building companies.
Now life is finally starting to settle down a little bit and Kurai and I are embracing a little bit of minimalist living, not wanting to go and just replace everything for the sake of it, and realising that Stuff really is just Stuff and that while it's still... really weird to think back on everything we've lost - I don't miss it all as much as I thought I would... Oh yeah, I did also just place an order with PCCG for a whole new Computer - that might have helped too ;)