This happened a few days ago, I was working from home since I had a doctor’s appointment later in the day. There’s construction work going on on the exterior of my building so to drown out the noise I had my headphones on, listening to music.
I smell smoke, the kind of smoky campfire smell, took the headphones off and could hear a slight crackle of wood on fire, went to the balcony door and got the attention of one of the workers who then realized that there was a fire in the wood beams underneath the roof tiles – the worker guys tried to put out the fire using buckets of water, no success, I stuck my head out the window and saw thick smoke coming out from cracks around the window and underneath the roof tiles (my apartment is on the top floor).
The workers started evacuating everyone in the building, I took what felt like an eternity but might just have been a minute or two, to grab my laptop, my external hard-drive, my passport and my paper wallets and ran down to the street. Could see lots of smoke coming from the roof, saw the firefighters arrive, climb up the scaffolding and start to smash the roof tiles off and spray water everywhere.
Around 3 hours later I’m back in my apartment, one of the rooms where my computers and mining equipment (small rig with 3xGPU) sits, has been heavily water damaged and the wood around the window has been burnt and smashed. The rest of the apartment is in better shape, mostly smoke and soot damage.
I don’t hold a life changing amount of money in BTC (+alts), but still enough that it would really suck to have it go up in flames. I always had a plan to make backups and store them in a different physical location, but never got around to it. Luckily the fire was caught early on and no-one was hurt, my paper wallets would probably also have made it through OK (except for water damage) if I hadn’t had the time to grab them. But I can’t shake the feeling of the pure dumb fucking luck of being home and the fire being spotted early. It’s been a bit chaotic with insurance people and stuff the last few days, but I made (password protected) backups of my wallets and have them in three different locations now.
TL;DR: Apartment building caught on fire, only by pure luck was I home and could grab my paper wallets before leaving. BACK UP YOUR WALLETS / SEEDS!