Muscular Dystrophy News Forums Forums Support Groups Adults​ ​With​ ​Muscular Dystrophy To Save the Wheelchair or Not to Save the Wheelchair; The Story of a House Fire

  • pete-barron

    September 2, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    OH, ouch! You didn’t say why anybody would set your house on fire, but that is a major crime and should be prosecuted! I’m glad you’re okay and I’m with you (to Hell with the chair and let’s get out of here.) Things are replaceable, our health is not!

    • leah-leilani

      September 15, 2022 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you, Pete! My thoughts exactly about the wheelchair. People always talk about what they would grab in case of a fire or earthquake. But in reality, it’s yourself and your family that’s most important. They did catch the person who did it and he was out on parole so I hope he predict he got quite the punishment.

  • ian-narita

    September 3, 2022 at 11:42 pm

    Having been thru a house fire can be traumatic. Even if the damage is minimal.

    Before I was disabled, my family and I went through a fire, and it was years to recover.

    Mostly just kept going til we were back where we were.

    One of the things I checked on when I got my first chair was loss insurance (at the time we were renters) for theft or accidental damage. Basically unaffordable.

    I would hate to think about losing the chair.

    Not sure what else to say.

  • leah-leilani

    September 15, 2022 at 3:40 pm

    You’re right, Ian. It is been hard to get over. In fact, I woke up the other night thinking that I smelled smoke again and had to walk around my house to make sure that everything was okay. Jeez, it’s almost like which one costs more-the insurance or a new wheelchair? It’s similar to what came first, the chicken or the egg, haha!

    • ian-narita

      October 3, 2022 at 2:58 pm

      I don’t want to be scary here. I tend to be long winded. I do want to make people think of what if.

      A couple of days ago a grass fire started in the neighborhood. When I didn’t hear fire trucks after more than a few minutes I called 911. The benefits of living in a smallish town is 911 can spend time on the phone.

      The 911 operator said they had several calls about the fire, but no location. All they could do was have the Police try to locate it. I asked my son and daughter in law to go look. They found the fire after a few minutes and called in the location (deep into a wooded lot).

      The smell was a reminder of the house fire we had been thru, and a little unnerving for our family. Worse still as red flag warnings and a burn ban was in effect.

      As to whether or not to save the wheelchair, a new manual wheelchair is about $100 bucks, affordable to a degree. Down this way pawn shops have wheelchairs all the time, usually about $20.. Noting this the manual wheelchair would be an easy decision for us to leave behind. My power chair retail cost is like $40,000. Medicaid gets a huge discount on that. But it would essentially be irreplaceable except every 5 years.

      My current thoughts are to store my old chair outside the house, as a reserve in case of disaster.

      Every disaster is different and you have to make decisions on the spot. Something else think about what kind of disasters could happen fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, etc. Then think about what should go where in case. Too many times the fire department finds an unused fire extinguisher after the fire. If you buy one get one that can be recharged and then talk to the fire department about some basic training about first response to fighting a fire. Practice and training makes all the difference. Also a fire drill so everyone knows what to do. A meeting place to account for household members, so you can account for all the people and pets in the house.

      At my house I feel most of the time like Cassandra of myth. I can imagine the things that can go wrong, but can’t get people in the house to think and plan about the potential for disaster and consequences. Most fire departments have pamphlets on disaster preparation. Its best to look it over and then make plans about what to do in case.

      Also if the arson case hasn’t gone to court you should contact the prosecutor’s office and make them understand your disabled and if allowed at sentencing be there and make a statement. Someone may have thought it a joke. You should dispel them of that idea.

      • leah-leilani

        October 4, 2022 at 12:49 pm

        You made a lot of great points. I’m sure it would be terribly difficult to get a new wheelchair had something happened to my current one in the fire. I do however keep a backup power chair in the garage. Of course, this isn’t a solution should the garage catch on fire but it wasn’t near this house fire we had. I do however think it’s a great tip to think about keeping a wheelchair outside yet safe from any harmful elements. My family and I are very good about disaster preparedness just not for a fire since we don’t live in a place in California where brush fires happen. But we sure are now. In terms of going to court, I don’t think that’s necessary in this case. As far as I know, the man was out on parole and should be getting the punishment he deserves already.

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