House on Fire
To us they’re mundane objects, but to them they’re priceless. House on Fire asks individuals to save one thing if their house were ablaze. The items they choose tell entire stories about culture, identity, and the true value of material possessions.
Episode 1 - Happy Valley
Happy Valley, OR is a storybook upper middle-class suburb known for being safe. Here residents reflect on the importance of maintaining that sense of safety through their material possessions.
Episode 2 - Dignity Village & Kenton Women's Village
Dignity Village and Kenton Women's Village, OR are self-run communities for previously homeless people. Being homeless has given some residents a uniquely profound perspective on material possessions.
Episode 3 - Woodburn
Woodburn, OR is an agricultural town with a large Latinx population. In this episode, residents choose items that tell their immigrant stories and seemingly banal objects that they can’t live without.
Episode 4 - The Gorge
Cascade Locks, OR is a scenic town that was narrowly saved from a forest fire in 2017. This episode explores how almost losing everything changes one’s relationship to property and possessions.
Episode 5 – Bonus Episode - Ask Polly
Heather Havrilesky is a successful author, essayist and humorist best known for her advice column “Ask Polly." In this episode, she tells us why she’d choose to save her childhood teddy bear (and self-described “ally”) if her house was burning down.