My childhood home in 2004I found out a couple of days ago that there was a major fire in my childhood home last week.

My parents bought the house when I was 2 years old. My mom sold it 4 years ago after 35 years of proud ownership. It was sad for me and my siblings to see her move, but the time was right for her to move into a villa with a main floor laundry and a homeowner’s association that would deal with all the outside yard work and maintenance.

The fire destroyed at least the garage, attic and roof, kitchen and breakfast room. According to one of the neighbors, the plan is to tear the house down to the foundation. It’s hard to imagine the house that holds all of my childhood memories won’t exist anymore.

Fire can do terrible things to a home. Luckily, the family was unharmed. But, the current owners operated a dog rescue business out of the house and two of the dogs died. Take a look at these tips on how to prevent house fires, plus this article that includes information on what to do to escape if you get caught in a fire.

On more than one occasion, I’ve had to talk buyer’s out of buying a home in which one of the ‘bedrooms’ was in the basement. There is a reason that rooms in the basement don’t qualify as bedrooms unless they have an egress size window. Without a means of egress directly to the outside, house fires like the one in my childhood home often turn into family tragedies. Please take care of your family, and never turn a basement room with just those tiny little windows into a bedroom.

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Karen Goodman leads the Arch City Homes Team with Circa Properties, assisting home sellers and buyers in St. Louis, MO. In order to provide the best possible service to her clients, Karen works with a limited number of clients at a time.