Oh my goodness, I almost lost my beautiful barn that would have been 100% my fault. My barn was saved by an unlikely hero, and I am so glad I didn't have to lose my barn!
The day started out as a typical November day. Mike and I worked all day outside, and the weather was great. We were growing our next flock of laying hens in the bottom of the barn, as the chickens were still so small that they needed a smaller, warmer home than the chicken coop. We had multiple heat lamps for the chickens over the length of their brooder home. The chickens were a week or so away from being moved to the chicken coop, because they were big enough they were running around, jumping and fighting/playing with each other. They were quickly running out of horizontal and vertical space.
I was rehearsing with my saxophone quartet for an upcoming gig, so I went off to the 6:30 PM rehearsal. I arrived back home around 10 PM and went to the barn to complete the evening chores. When I was walking down the hill from our house the barn, I started to smell smoke. I wasn't sure if I was smelling my neighbor's outdoor wood burner or if it was something else. When I opened the barn's Dutch doors, I instantly became alarmed. Smoke had filled the bottom of the barn and it was hard to see. The chickens were peeping and they were all huddled to one end of their brooder. I quickly opened the door on the opposite side of the brooder and instantly saw the problem - a heat lamp had come loose due to the chickens' antics and dropped to the floor of the brooder! God was sure watching out for us that day, because the day prior I had halved large pumpkins for the chickens to eat, and I just so happened to place one beneath the offending heat lamp. The pumpkin saved my barn and my chickens! The heat lamp was burned into the pumpkin, and had I waited until morning for chores, I probably would have lost the barn. The pumpkin allowed the lamp to smolder the pumpkin without a flame.
Needless to say, I was incredibly grateful for a late rehearsal and subsequent chores, and ultimately for cut up the pumpkin that saved so much! Now I never underestimate the power of garden produce!