What a difference a day makes. Thank everyone for their help.
Here's an update.
-Realtor connected with someone who came out around 9pm to service. Started a simple fire with our stuff and charged an arm and a leg. Hubby spoke with a several people who gave him good information and talked with the past owner who gave us additional information and explained what all the equipment was for that she left. Hubby stayed for 2 hours watching the fire and then left. Many prayers went out that the house would heat up so that my newly stained floors would dry and be ready for second coat tomorrow.
-9am 2/2/11 Woke up and watched several Youtube videos on starting a fire and looked over the manual. Went to the house hoping and praying there was heat in the house. Got there and house was freezing cold no flame.
Hubby and I started a fire WOW! and between the two of us got a nice red glowing ring going around the pan like the past owner told us about. Followed the instructions on youtube and my first fire came alive.
-In order to start the fire we needed to figure out how to access our rice coal to put on top of the charcoal. Finally figured out where it was lol and guess what? The room was filled with coal but the bin was empty. Oh so that what the rake is for in the basement. Raked coal into the bin and after 20 minutes I started to hear the coal moving through the pipe. The sound that I thought was coal being pushed in was actually the auger. I know that sounds now so all yesterday no coal was being pushed into the stove. And of course none was pushed in after the fire was built that night.
-Went upstairs and closed all pocket doors to close everything off.
-Checked the furnace and there was fresh black coal on top and no flame. I panicked because I thought that my husband came down and put some more coal on top. He said he didn’t. We could not see where the coal was coming from (there was a hot flame in there) so we just assumed that the coal was fed in. Poked around at the fire and it was nice a red underneath. Good sign.
-Waited another hour and checked the radiators. They felt room temp hubby said good sign as yesterday they were freezing cold to the touch. Checked the coal again and it was nice and hot. Left the house praying that it stays lit, that we figured everything (well almost everything) out and that my floors would dry so that when the floor guy came he could keep working.
I hope that this post does some other newbie good. I am feeling more comfortable and I actually started a fire so I am on cloud nine right now. I see some little tools that I need already so I will get them this weekend. How long do you think it will take to know the chill off the house. The thermostat was set for 75 degrees and the house is about 4,500 square feet.