Vulnerability and hopelessness descended on me as I watched helplessly as fire engulfed our power shed a couple of weeks ago…
We’d had a week of dreadful weather and a team of builders onsite so the generator had kicked in to give the solar batteries a boost when the lights began to flicker and the generator stopped. Thinking it had run out of petrol I went out to find smoke billowing from the shed!
While Kate phoned the rural fire brigade I did all I could with the garden hose in a vain attempt to quell the flames. In the darkness I went over on my ankle which shattered in three places! All I could do was drag myself away from the heat and watch in despair as the shed with all our solar gear inside went up in flames, feeling totally disempowered…on a very traumatic night and with an extremely painful ankle!
By the time the fire fighters arrived, the shed, the generator and our entire system was just a molten heap on the ground. Our stoic neighbour Godfrey had kept the fire from spreading anywhere else and our new house just above was saved. The firefighters got my ankle strapped up while Kate phoned the air ambulance!
Another trip in the rescue helicopter and a few days in hospital where a pile of metalwork was implanted in my ankle followed. I have to say a big thank you to the great guys on the helicopter and the fantastic staff at Wairau Hospital as I look forward to six weeks on one foot!
The fire inspector put it down to a mechanical malfunction in the generator motor. But in the incredible heat of the fire there was very little left. Fortunately the insurance company have come in behind us and our electrician Paul Mander has gone above and beyond the call of duty as we’re just about to get back online with a new shed and system. But this time with the back up diesel generator in a separate shed altogether!
In the meantime I’m on the way back, learning to slow down and how to walk like a pirate!