Brian Dalesio shares his story of loss after a fire in hopes that he can help others dealing with the aftermath of a disaster.
Brian Dalesio was napping when he heard loud bangs coming from the attic and smelled smoke. With suspicion, his awakened to grab a drink and to check on the stew his girlfriend was making in the Crockpot. While in the kitchen he noticed the smell of smoke becoming more intense. He put his hand on the door to see if it was hot, and fearing the worst, he opened it. The hallway was filled with smoke and he coughed, unaware that he had taken in a big breath of toxic air. A fire fighter had not made his way to the apartment yet and once he saw Brian, he shouted, “ Get out! There‘s a fire!” Quickly, he closed the door and screamed to his girlfriend, “Baby, there’s a fire, grab the bunny!” In a panic, he grabbed only the bare essentials and started to exit the building with the rest of his family. Walking through the hallway, smoke filled up his lungs as he tried not to breathe it in. The other neighbors were informed earlier of the fire and were also on their way out to a safe exit. Moments later, he was in his car watching his apartment building go up in flames.
Brian’s story is similar to many other people who have been victims of house fires. He went through one of the worst tragedies that an individual should never had to endure. Now, he is sharing his thoughts on his experience and offering help to other victims. For Brian, the hardest part was dealing with loss, but he is working to overcome it by realizing the true aspects of life. He states,
“Now I have visceral knowledge of the fact that material things truly are unimportant and can vanish in an instant. Friends, family, and relationships are the only things that really matter, everything else can be replaced.”
Brian did not think this way before because he never thought a devastation like this would happen to him. In fact, most people never think the unthinkable. The U.S. Fire Administration reported in 2009 that there were 356,000 fires in the United States. What helped Brian overcome the fire was the overwhelming support from friends, family, and the community. However, all that support could not compensate for his losses. This is not to say that he doesn’t think about the items he lost, like his girlfriend’s brand new MacBook Pro Computer, his comic book collection, a custom-made guitar, clothes, books, movies, and other miscellaneous items. As we all know, there are certain items, which can’t be replaced.
Many wonder, what their thoughts would be be if they just found out that their home was on fire. How would they react, would they be able to not panic and take the right steps? In Brian‘s case, his response was,
“No, this can not be happening. It was like a real dream that you have control over, but think it can’t be real and I was thinking that I was extremely worried about my rabbit and my girlfriend and being harmed my smoke inhalation.”
Nevertheless, he was able to exit the fire with his family and find safety, which he is forever grateful for. He would have liked the take my items from his home, like the laptop, but given the circumstances he got out with what he needed, which brings up another point. How prepared are you for a fire? What would you take on your way out? More importantly, do you have a plan for escape? Brian suggests for people to get renters insurance, practice fire safety, have a plan to get out with your loved ones and pets in case of a fire, and don’t be paranoid, live your life like you normally should, just be careful.
By sharing his story, Brian hopes that his experience can help others that have been through fires and for people that think it could never happen to them. As stated, the most important things in life are not the material items, but it still hurts dealing with the loss.