The insulation in the attic caught fire and proceeded to smoke and smolder for hours. Our guess is that the fire started about 10:00 last night. Insulation fires burn like a real slow cigarette. About 1:00 in the morning it reached the center of the attic and caused the electrical system to pop. At 8:00 in the morning we noticed a "smell". I finally looked in the attic (its a crawl space that you have to go through my office closet to get to) and saw charred wires and insulation. We thought it was an electrical short and called an electrician. He went into the attic and saw that the wires were burnt from the outside, not from the inside. He was also nearly overcome by the smoke. "Dude, its still burning."
I rushed down to find the fire department number. "Dial 911," said Michelle. I figured this wasn't an emergency, but the fire department did not have another number listed. I dialed 911 and they told us to get out!
Five pumpers and three command cars showed up! It was quite the excitement in the neighborhood.
It seems the attic was one big smoldering ember just waiting to ignite into an inferno. We were planning on going out of town for the weekend, but if we had, we would have returned to a pile of steaming rubble where our house once stood. Talk about luck.
Our insurance agent immediately dispatched a contractor that specializes in fire remediation. They came, shut everything down. took our clothes to the laundry and sent us to a hotel.
We are going to be at the Residence Inn for at least the next four days. Our holiday plans are ruined, but we are safe and damage to our house is minimal.
I must mention that the Akron Fire Department was incredible. Very professional and well trained. If your house catches on fire, I recommend you use them! Heh.