According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), over 15,000 people are injured annually from house fires. Almost 400,000 house fires occur each year, with causes varying from cooking to candles to bad luck and bad wiring.
As is often the case with unfortunate tragedies, the existence of house fires gets people thinking about what really matters to them. Maybe you've pondered this question: What would you take from your burning house? Would you take the practical route and snatch your MacBook or iPhone, or are you more sentimental, opting for old photos and toys? Of course, pets, collections and favorite books are common choices, too.
In his new book, "The Burning House: What Would You Take?," [It Books, $16.99] Foster Huntington visualizes what interviewees would take with them if their house was on fire. The results vary: cameras, sewing machines, surf boards and VHS tapes.
Check out these stunning photos, and visit the American Red Cross to donate to their disaster relief fund:
Age: 27 Location: London, England, UK Occupation: Web designer Website: <a href="http://mizhenka.blogspot.com" target="_hplink">mizhenka.blogspot.com</a> • MacBook Pro. It's uninsured and full of work and personal photographs. • Twenty-seven-year-old teddy bear, "Teddy," who has already survived one burning house.
James Oliver Lamont Fox
Age: 40 Location: Somerville, Massachusetts Occupation: IT, and library-school student Website: <a href="http://10engines.blogspot.com" target="_hplink">10engines.blogspot.com</a> • Growing collection of old-timey Vermont pennants • Ede & Ravenscroft brogues, bought for our wedding • Box of cufflinks, including Grandpa's mother-of-pearl jobs and monogrammed silver ones, given to me by my godfather thirty-nine years ago • Levi's Troy-lined jacket, thrifted for $2.50 a long time ago • My kilt, Lamont, the only made-to-measure thing I own • External hard drive of photos
Age: 43 Location: Italy Occupation: Crafter, graphic designer Website: <a href="http://cristina-c.blogspot.com" target="_hplink">cristina-c.blogspot.com</a> • My family cat (not pictured) • Wool and wood knitting needles • Gray and yellow scarf • Travel journal • Canon 1000D instead of the pictured Caplio • My best t-shirt • Blue comfortable sandals • "Keep Calm and Make Tea" picture • Felt monster I made • Sea rock from my father • Robert Fulgham's <em>All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten</em> • Old German vase
Age: 27 Location: London, England, UK Occupation: Design director Website: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/willcheyney" target="_hplink">www.flickr.com/willcheyney</a> • 11" MacBook Air • Eddy the Teddy • Nintendo Game Boy • Ray-Ban folding Wayfarers • iPhone 4 • White chino shorts • Lomo LC-A camera
Paul Mading Kwaje
Age: 22 Location: Kauda, Sudan Occupation: Farmer • Bush knife • Favorite shirt • Wood bracelet (not pictured) • My largest bowls • Hoe • Water bottle
Age: 32 Location: Washington, DC Occupation: GORUCK military gear • Java, my dog • Green Beret and Yarborough knife • Family scrapbook I had in Iraq • One-of-a-kind camo duct-tape wallet, made by a friend • Java's finisher medal from the Chicago half marathon • Grandfather's burial flag
Age: 27 Location: Vienna, Austria Occupation: Digital media Website: <a href="http://www.manuelplatzer.com" target="_hplink">www.manuelplatzer.com</a> • Behind the Zines: Self-Publishing Culture book • Book jacket and a book • Notebook • Headphones • Polaroid camera • Photo of girlfriend • "The Impossible Project" dark slide • Drawing tools • iPad • T-shirt handmade my girlfriend
Age: 23 LocatIon: Sofia, Bulgaria OccupatIon: The online guy at an ad agency Website: <a href="http://www.niteversions.com" target="_hplink">www.niteversions.com</a> • Junk food • Junk food • Junk food • Coffee
Raúl Cirujano Segura
Age: 34 Location: Madrid, Spain Occupation: Unemployed • Exfaex fire extinguisher
Age: 36 Location: Springfield, Missouri Occupation: Advertising photographer Website: <a href="http://www.nateluke.com" target="_hplink">www.nateluke.com</a> • Portable phonograph I used to court my wife • Promo box I used to grow my photography business • Toy planes • Old Hitchcock magazines • First camera given to me by my dad • Nautical compass • Thai red-pepper seeds • Jar of items collected from travels • Some old keys • Luggage • Some rubber stamps • Favorite Erik Nording pipe • Favorite book, <em>The Old Man and the Sea</em> • Shadow box of old dry flies • Pheasant feathers from birds my dog has pointed • Favorite movie, <em>A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy</em> • Wedding photo with my wife • Flashlight • A book of a hundred handwritten things my wife likes about me • Can of gunpowder from Grandfather • Some photos of food from the CSA farm
Age: 22 Location: Brooklyn, New York Occupation: Musician, designer, music hoarder Website: <a href="http://www.erickarcelliott.com" target="_hplink">www.erickarcelliott.com</a> and <a href="http://www.theloveinus.com" target="_hplink">www.theloveinus.com</a> • Michael Jackson's <em>Thriller</em> and <em>Moonwalker</em> on VHS • OBEY GIANT handkerchief • Precious memento-ish pictures of my family: dad, brothers, uncle, etc. • Isaac Hayes's <em>Shaft</em> on vinyl • Curtis Mayfield's <em>Superfly</em> on vinyl • Photo of my cat Morris, who passed away • Roland Juno-106 synthesizer, circa 1984 • Yamaha DX7 synthesizer, circa 1983 • Axiom 49 keyboard, circa whenever I started making music • Native Instruments Maschine instrument, circa two months ago
Justin R. Swaby
Age: 25 Location: Los Angeles, California Occupation: Student of architecture • My dog, Rooster • Childhood toy truck • Vintage suitcase, a gift from my aunt • Nikon EM 35mm camera • Sewing machine • Baby doll head mug, a gift from a dear friend • Favorite gun-toting marionette • Small bird carved from bone, a gift from my boyfriend • Vintage porcelain black lady salt shaker
Age: 39 years old for another two and a half weeks. Yikes. Location: Brooklyn, New York / my living room Occupation: Design Director at Supreme • Al Merrick surfboard, the number one item on my list. I don't get to surf as much as I used to, but when I do, it saves my life • Patagonia wetsuit. Notice I pulled a short-sleeved suit. I guess I thought it would be more versatile. Their suits are amazing: super-soft rubber, chlorine free, and light and warm • Linus bike with coaster breaks. I try to stay out of doors as much as possible, and, since I got this bike, I rarely ride the subway to or from work anymore My mood has benefited greatly from this little fact • My cat, Tallulah. I'm not even a cat person, but I do love animals and would never think of leaving her in a burning house. That would be awful • Croc loafers, a gift from my friend Mark. He makes them up in Maine. I love them because they don't have a pointy toe • My Newton running shoes. They changed my life. I can run forever and fast without pain • My flask. Preferably it will be filled at the time of the fire because, Lord knows, I'll need a drink. It will most likely contain Macallan or Oban • A bandana. I use them for everything: as a sweatband when I run, as a scarf when it gets cold, to clean up a mess, or to tie off an injury. It's one of the most useful things you can have • Somewhere in there should be an iPod too. It may have fallen into the shoe. I bring music with me everywhere