Photo Essay: What Would You Save From a House Fire?

“If your house was burning, what would you bring with you?” asks growing online interview project The Burning House, which gleans submissions from around the world. The result: a series of revealing, neatly arranged still lives of personal belongings and intimate, detailed lists, torn between the “practical, valuable and sentimental.” There are writers brandishing their beloved first editions and designers showing off their shotguns. There are odd, totemic trinkets and tins of dirt. But what seems to link most of these interviewees are gadgets they “can’t live without” that will replace all their books and hold all their memories. Take a look at some of our favorites.

Chris Adamiak, 30. Milton, Ontario. Maintenance worker

Among the items:
• A World War II bayonet from his late uncle
• A hard drive with 13 years of music and pictures on it
• A first edition of Song of the Paddle signed by the late Bill Mason