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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Townhouse next door burned...


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17 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   dmspen

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 03:11 PM

Last Wednesday, we tried to watch Frozen at home. My wife says, " Did you light a candle?"

The next door neighbor had a baby sitter who tried to make fries. Throwing the frozen fries in a pan of hot oil resulted in oil popping out of the pan and catching fire. She threw the pan in the sink and turned on the water. Whoosh! or whatever term is used for splattering hot fiery oil.

 

Within a few minutes, the fire exploded out the back window and up the wall. I watched the fire as it exploded the upper window. The fire was about 2 feet from the eaves of my home. We live in a townhome and share a common wall...which is where the kitchen is.

 

The baby sitter had the presence of mind to call 911 even though her arm was seriously burned. A neighbor walking his dogs had run into the house and thrown a wet towel over the fire. Evidently this slight delay is what prevented the fire from spreading to my house. The fire department got there in time to prevent any fire damage to my home, but the neighbors townhome is almost a total loss.

 

Everything is working out OK. The neighbors found a small furnished house for rent a short distance away ( a miracle around here), our house is getting cleaned of smoke and residue, etc.

 

Couple of things to note.

 

The American Red Cross showed up and took us under they're wing. Put us up in a hotel for 3 days so we could get the insurance company moving on everything. They were great!

 

I feel as I wasn't prepared for this emergency. I'm now taking steps to make documents for emergency contacts, etc., and may even make a runaway kit. Ask yourself what you would do. Are you prepared?

 

 



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#2 ONLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:02 PM

Great that you're safe.  Lots of things to think about!



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#3 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:45 PM

If it wasn't for the seriousness, it is kinda funny on the how it started.


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#4 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 06:10 PM

If it wasn't for the seriousness, it is kinda funny on the how it started.

 

It's like all those fried turkeys. They always seem to either forget about oil and water, or simple displacement.

 

I think I'll at least check to make sure my kitchen extinguisher doesn't need replaced :)



#5 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 08:04 PM

My cousin kit her kitchen up similarly once. But isn't burn the house she extinguished it first. I feel bad for the sitter. I can't imagine how bad she feels about it.

#6 OFFLINE   Alebob911

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:00 AM

Last Wednesday, we tried to watch Frozen at home. My wife says, " Did you light a candle?"

The next door neighbor had a baby sitter who tried to make fries. Throwing the frozen fries in a pan of hot oil resulted in oil popping out of the pan and catching fire. She threw the pan in the sink and turned on the water. Whoosh! or whatever term is used for splattering hot fiery oil.

 

Within a few minutes, the fire exploded out the back window and up the wall. I watched the fire as it exploded the upper window. The fire was about 2 feet from the eaves of my home. We live in a townhome and share a common wall...which is where the kitchen is.

 

The baby sitter had the presence of mind to call 911 even though her arm was seriously burned. A neighbor walking his dogs had run into the house and thrown a wet towel over the fire. Evidently this slight delay is what prevented the fire from spreading to my house. The fire department got there in time to prevent any fire damage to my home, but the neighbors townhome is almost a total loss.

 

Everything is working out OK. The neighbors found a small furnished house for rent a short distance away ( a miracle around here), our house is getting cleaned of smoke and residue, etc.

 

Couple of things to note.

 

The American Red Cross showed up and took us under they're wing. Put us up in a hotel for 3 days so we could get the insurance company moving on everything. They were great!

 

I feel as I wasn't prepared for this emergency. I'm now taking steps to make documents for emergency contacts, etc., and may even make a runaway kit. Ask yourself what you would do. Are you prepared?

I agree with you about the red cross. My relatives lost almost everything in the winter 1997 floods in northern California and after the water subsided from a levee break we were able to go to the house to start the recovery of belongings and the red cross brought us warm food and water plus left extra for us. that kept us going while we kept recovering stuff. The house was a total loss as it was under 15-20 feet of water and mud. Glad to hear you place was ok.



#7 OFFLINE   coolman302003

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:51 AM

I feel as I wasn't prepared for this emergency. I'm now taking steps to make documents for emergency contacts, etc., and may even make a runaway kit. Ask yourself what you would do. Are you prepared?

 

I think it's always a good idea to create a home inventory list, and have multiple backups off site & in the cloud. They are really invaluable for showing insurance companies what you lost.

 

There are a handful of smartphone apps that make it a lot easier to do. Evernote works as well. 



#8 OFFLINE   armophob

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 02:03 AM

That is the nice thing about digital these days. Walking around the house now with your cell phone or a video is cheap and easy.

 

I do it about once a year. Opening up all the closets and drawers as I go. And then put all the video and pics on a thumb drive in a fireproof box.



#9 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 04:30 AM

Now is also a good time to go through how to extinguish various fires and as dpeters11 suggested, check your equipment in your house. Sounds like the baby sitter next door panicked and then probably did the worst thing she could do by putting the pan in the sink and turning on the water. And I understand that panic. I've had a batch of wings I was cooking (outside) flash over the top of my cooker. Not only will the flames grab your attention, but the super heated steam from the water flashing will seriously burn you if you come in contact with it. After that episode, I moved the cooker another 20' feet from the house.

#10 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 06:45 AM

Many people, sometimes even those that should know better, don't do the right thing under pressure. I've even seen it on some competition show on Food Network, probably Next Food Network Star. Contestant gets a fire, they freak out. Alton Brown calmy walks over and takes care of it.

 

A thing as simple as a lid and cool head would have made a huge difference here.



#11 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:19 AM

I think it's always a good idea to create a home inventory list, and have multiple backups off site & in the cloud. They are really invaluable for showing insurance companies what you lost.

 

There are a handful of smartphone apps that make it a lot easier to do. Evernote works as well. 

 

We just over-insured everything.  Doesn't cost that much more and it seems easier.

 

Rich 



#12 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:41 AM

Throwing the frozen fries in a pan of hot oil resulted in oil popping out of the pan and catching fire. She threw the pan in the sink and turned on the water.

My neighbor at my vacation home had the same problem and their double-wide burned to the ground along with much of the landscaping. Everyone got out okay but you really need to have a fire extinguisher ready (or a container of flour) if you're going to use these things. Fryers (everyone remembers the "Fry Daddy", right?) have always been very dangerous.

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#13 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:42 AM

We just over-insured everything.  Doesn't cost that much more and it seems easier.

For someone so fastidious about archiving TV programming, this seems a bit of a contradiction.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#14 OFFLINE   dmspen

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:03 AM

Thanks everyone for your comments although you're making my todo lust longer!

Furnace/ AC ducts get cleaned today. Also get the backyard deck windows etc power washed to remove soot and ash. Hopefully we can move back tomorrow.

Quite the experience. I do t recommend it to anyone!


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#15 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:13 AM

For someone so fastidious about archiving TV programming, this seems a bit of a contradiction.

 

Don't believe I ever said I archived anything.  Did say I could, but why bother?  

 

Rich



#16 OFFLINE   SamC

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 05:02 AM

Work closely with your insurance company. Especially if you own.  Depending on your state, who is responsible when owned spaces with common walls are damaged, varries.  The obligation to build back also varries.  

 

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but when you go to sell, the fact that the building had major fire damage is going to reduce your value.  You should be compensated for that now, via insurance.



#17 OFFLINE   dmspen

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:00 AM

Fortunately my place has no fire damage. Only smoke.

 

The cleaners have finished and did a great job. The insurance person has been awesome. She calls me every day or two to make sure everything is getting done. The only issues are:

We are having difficulty getting the furnace/AC ducts cleaned. Everyone is busy! The restoration manager said we shouldn't move back in until they're cleaned. The Fire Captain at the scene had me run the furnace fan to help clear smoke.

 

When the restoration dudes were there to pressure wash the back of the house near the fire area, they power washed around the upstairs bedroom window. It tore off/out some of the caulking around the window and water started pouring in. Fortunately the cleaning people were in that room and held towels on to the windows and caught it all.

 

We had planned on doing Spring Cleaning at the beginning of April...now I don't have to!



#18 OFFLINE   dmspen

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:15 AM

Finally got the AC/Furnace air ducts cleaned yesterday and moved back into our home. Only 2 weeks out. The last physical hurdle is getting curtains, rugs, towels, sheets, etc back from the cleaners. They set an appointment for April 18 to return it all. They did do 'Emergency Service" on some bedding so we're OK, and we have a few extra towels that were in the garage.

 

Now the ugly part...paperwork!






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