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Thursday, January 13, 2011

I know this is a decorating blog...BUT....

I went into work this morning...beautiful morning...It was approximately 45 minutes after I opened the door that I got my first customers...and I am thanking GOD ...profusely... for them...on this day...I was fulfilling their order when ..there was an explosion...and then one of them yelled... FIRE! RUN! EVERYONE GET OUT! IT'S a BIG ONE!

The stairway up to my bar was engulfed in flames as a result of an explosion on the first floor of the lodge and not 3 minutes later, ...the whole 2500 square foot game room next to my bar was in the same condition...the smoke was so dense you could hardly see...I went back thru the kitchen to retrieve my coat ( I just got wool girly pea coat, it was so worth retrieving!) and came back out of the kitchen...I couldn't see so I hunched over and ran to the end of the bar and got my purse...when I stood up, I couldn't see anything and the smoke was burning my chest and lungs profusely...I thought about going thru the balcony door and jumping but it was too far across and the balcony door was in the game room...

I really couldn't tell you what happened next, I just remember someone pushing me down a stairwell and getting my keys stuck in the railing...he wanted me to drop my new purse! Not happening buster! afterall, it had an L on it...and it cost me 25cents at the thrift store!

I ran..with these customers...thru the main lodge where the explosion happened and into the lobby...there were tons of people in there...I started yelling fire...get have to go now...leave your ski's! and they wouldn't...I am thinking they thought about their ski's how I felt about my coat and purse...they did run out, however, when they saw what was coming behind me...I also ran down another set of stairs and into the rental office...there were adults and children and employees in there too, totally unaware of what was behind me...

I was still yelling....OUT! OUT! FIRE! FIRE!  and these people were looking at me like I was a nut...

When I got out the main doors of the rental place, I ran back into the lodge and took a last look around for people...there wasn't anyone in I ran down the stairs again... I started helping my employers with their belongings and the items they were carrying...paychecks...computers...purses, shoes...and helped them to get to their cars...then I helped the maintenance guy with the items he was carrying and examined his arms..they were burned pretty good...and then I Tahoe was parked directly in front of the Snowflake Bar where I was working...I started running...I got half way there...and BOOM! my boss' car was parked right next to the building and and had been swallowed by looked like a big ball of fire..15 feet away from mine....I ducked...when I got up, I started running again and got to my Tahoe...the metal was hot to the touch and I was afraid to start it...but I did...and I went as fast as I reverse...spun a cookie...and roared off to the parking lot across the street...that's when the shaking started...if it hadn't been for the man that stayed to make sure I could find my way down the back stairs...I would have been trapped up there...with a choice to break and go out a second story window or brave the game room door...that door is really hard for me to open and get closed, I NEVER unlock it unless it is mandatory...but bugged me til I went and unlocked it...think someone was trying to tell me something?   The chimney sticking up in the video? that is where I took less than 8 minutes for the fire to completely encompass the entire South end of that building...which is about 20,000 square feet...

Louis Gheller built this resort over 60 years has been a landmark and a source of revenue for my town ever was sold off and divided in the last couple of years...and the new owners were trying to make the best of everything for their customers...Louis' Granddaughter is the only Gheller that still works there...she was standing in the middle of the road...sobbing...she was utterly devastated at the loss of her GrandDad's hard work...the grief that was on her face...the sobbing... and the fact that she was walking back and forth, with cars going every which way around her...haunts me...

It was a devastating day...not just the danger...but the loss of a heritage...I will miss it very much...

I am now unemployed...which will be the tale of many after the UP...

Thank you so much for listening...I needed to get that off my chest and work thru the details...


  1. Lisa! I am so thankful you are safe and my heart goes out to the people there. I know you are putting a little humor into your early actions but I cringe to hear that you and others were worried about coats and purses. After your big hugs from your husband, I hope you got a old fashion lecture. That said, thank goodness you are safe and uninjured. I'm a little shaky after reading that and can't imagine how you must be feeling.

  2. Oh and it may have started as a decorating blog but I think we all agree that we like all the life stuff that goes with it. Maybe not the fire so much....

  3. Oh Donna! I have lectured myself...the things we think of when we are not able to think properly...I have been lectured by the Head Muffin actually addled my wits into non existence. I hope there is no next time but if there is...hopefully I will have learned from this experience and just run straight out the was very scary and am glad that life fits into this blog too...thank you from my heart.. you are such a DEAR!

  4. I am so very glad you made it out safely!

  5. Lisa:
    So glad to hear that you and everyone else made it out okay. It's too bad about Powderhorn burning down. What's really sad is that this ski lodge is the only source of income for many families in the area and now they are unemployed in an already economically depressed area. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.

    Just a little FYI... I would have done the same thing you did.

  6. OMGosh Lisa! Thankful to God today that you are okay. I'm so sorry for the losses everyone is feeling and your loss of income. But I truly believe and know that something better suited to you will come along. It always works out that way. Do something good for yourself today.

    Oh, and I agree with Donna about the blog. It's yours to define. Mine has been defined by others as a gardening blog, but my intention is more of one toward homesteading and learning through living.

    I've been missing your updates. Maybe this is an opportunity for you to catch us up? ;0)

  7. glad to meet you Lisa...and i am just sitting here with my jaw in my lap. what a day you had! i am such a sucker for family tradition and nostalgia and i am just sick for those who lost such a treasure. everyone is so lucky to come out of it alright though...hope to chat more.

  8. Lisa:
    I recently discovered your blog through Rate My Space. I am so sorry to read about your harrowing experience. I am very glad that you are ok and that noone was injured or killed. Thank God! I live in Michigan too, so am well aware of the economic repercussions this will have on your town. I will be keeping you and your community members in my prayers.

  9. Thank you all for your support! it was scary, scary, scary! but there is good news...I was called back to work! They would like me to work at the other establishment on the premises! Hopefully, they called everyone else too! They are such troopers! to keep it open and persevere!

    To Leanne and Sheila? WELCOME! I am sure your first experience here was just great seeing that as the first impression of our blog...;)
    I am so glad you came to see! Rate My Space was my introduction to blogging! Most of the ladies on here were instrumental in getting it going and it still amazes me anyone wants to see this little house! I have some projects coming up, hope you enjoy my stumble thru how to decorate!

  10. A sad day and a great loss, but no one was hurt. It is not Louie Gheller grand daughter, it is his nephew's wife, she moved here from Italy and Powderhorn was her second home, as it has been for many family members. Many memories but new memories will be made. Uncle Louie's life was Powderhorn.

  11. Oh Liana! that is such good information! I was so proud to be a part of it! and being there and watching her cry and experience such grief broke my heart! She is truly a wonderful lady. Are you a member of the Gheller family? or a member of Powderhorn? I am so happy to have a neighbor here, if so!

  12. I gave Mrs. Gheller a hug today and told her I thought she was Louis' Granddaughter, she just smiled and hugged me tightly...and then said "we will rebuild into something better" in her sweet italian is that for strength?

  13. Lordy Pete, Lisa! What a shocker to read your account of the fire. I admit I was intially horrified thinking your hut may have gone up in smoke but was guiltily relieved it was NOT your home. My next thoughts concerned the owners, the employees, & their losses.

    While reading the notes from you regarding the relationship of the owners to the burned property, I had an involuntary comment come to mind when you mentioned Mrs. Gheller's 'strength':

    I'd say you've met your equal.

    So happy to hear all persons escaped unscathed. The Phoenix will rise again!

  14. Lisa - thank God for the blessings that noone was injured. Buildings can be rebuilt. My office burned down while I was the only one working a few years ago in an ice storm, could it be the infamous "lisa met the OKlahoma Highway patrol" ice storm!! It was an historic little house in the oldest part of the city. Tragic loss of history, but for us, too, no injury. It is amazing how common sense flies out the window with the flames!!! I wish for your community a speedy rebuild and recovery. And something great will come along for you!!

  15. Oh Ellen, you are so eloquent!
    You know what Hooked? that wreck was in 2008! is that when your office burned? I am so glad you were not hurt!

    Thank Thank Thank YOU for your kind words everyone!

  16. HAHAHA - yes, December 10, 2008. The storm started on the 9th. The ice became too heavy for an ancient tree in the backyard, it fell on an electric line, which pulled the "head wire" - which did not really look like wire - into the attic. It arced and sparked and the entire attic and roof were gone before the fire dropped into the house and I became aware of it. Darn those Okie ice storms!!! I wish we had known each other then, we could have comforted each other!!

  17. Oh Hooked! isn't it a small world? I wish I would have known you too!


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