What belongings would you save in the event of a house fire?

Jul 26, 2012

It’s an age-old conundrum incited by a question that everyone dearly hopes remains hypothetical. Its also the question posed by a new book by Foster Huntington called “The Burning House.”

The book began its life as a conversation at a dinner party. That one four-word question caused people to look inward and truly consider what items in their life had the most value.

The discussion soon blossomed into a blog, and then into a project so all encompassing that Huntington quit his job in New York and set off on a journey around the American West to seek out and document the answers of a diverse set of people.

As the project gained momentum, Huntington compiled hundreds of pictures submitted with respondents’ lists — and it is those pictures that make up “The Burning House.”

Images in the book include items that are practical (laptops, passports and shoes), valuable (laptops, musical instruments and jewelry), sentimental (photographs, family heirlooms and books), and intangible (loved ones and pets).

All of them provide intimate details about thoughts and values rarely shared with others: What irreplaceable items would you take if your house was on fire?


What would you take if your house was on fire?


Foster Huntington, author of “The Burning House”

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