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I need vibes for my Brother

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My brother just called me to tell me that there was a fire in his house yesterday.

Apparently it started in the basement. He said that at 10:30am his girl friend was in the shower and he was in the bedroom waiting for his turn, and he saw lots of smoke coming up from the basement into the kitchen. He said it wasn't just a little.

He went down to see what was going on and he couldn't see 2 feet in front of him. Eventually he saw that his rainbow dog, Max's old bed was on fire and that the ironing board with clothes on it was catching on fire.

He didn't have a fire extinguisher and he couldn't find a bucket so he could throw water, and by this time the smoke was so thick and dense that he had to get out of there.

They called 911 and the fire department came.

Apparently there is about $20,000 smoke and water damage (the basement was unfinished and just a junk and workshop area. But the entire main floor is also damaged from the smoke. He said his walls look like they have cob webs hanging off of them.

They are staying in a hotel currently. Last night, tonight and tomorrow night. I offered them my bedroom and I'd sleep on the couch if they needed. But their insurance company has already set them up in a hotel and either tomorrow or the next day they are moving into a furnished apartment downtown that the insurance company is renting for them.

Apparently it will be 1 to 3 months before they can move back to their house. They were told that it's easier to rebuild a house than it is to clean up smoke and water damage.

Unfortunately they didn't have working smoke detectors, so they're extremely lucky that this happened in the daytime while they were awake and not at night while they were sleeping.

Both of my parents died in 1978 and my brother is the only real family that I have. I can't tell you the mix up of emotions that went through me when he called to tell me about the fire.

I'm so thankful that they are both alright. Things can be cleaned and replaced. That they are ok is the most important thing!

Apparently the cause of the fire was an outdoor extension cord they were using in the basement. It had overheated or something and set off the fire.

Then to top it off a water main broke in front of their house. The way the City here works is if the broken part of the water main is on your property, you are responsible for the repair of it even if it wasn't your fault. The main that broke happened to be on their property so he is reponsible for the cost of the repairs which is upwards of $3,000.00. However since they just had a fire that same day, the city is cutting them a break and not charging them for the repair. Which is extremely nice of them! I think it helps that he's a City employee employed by the transit system though.
post #2 of 23
for you brother. I am so glad they got out safely.
post #3 of 23
Thank goodness their safe, not to mention insured
post #4 of 23
Sending lots of and Prayers to your Brother and his Girlfriend.
Thank God that they got out safely.
post #5 of 23
My gosh! Thank god he is okay Linda!
post #6 of 23
Keeping you in my thoughts and sending heapsss of vibes
post #7 of 23
Vibes to your brother and gf! Thank God he was awake! That is just the reason to have smoke detectors!
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone

Here is the article:

http://www.winnipegsun.com/News/Winn...4/5880306.html
post #9 of 23
Golly, how scary!!!! I'm glad they're ok, and this is a reminder why everyone needs to have working smoke detectors all through their house!
post #10 of 23
Thank goodness your brother is okay. In his honor, I'm going to test all our smoke detectors tonight.

And I'm going to call my own brother and make him check his, too.
post #11 of 23
Thank goodness they are ok. I took one of our smoke detectors down last week when it was humid as for some reason that specific one beeps off. The battery is back in I'll put it back up tonite.
post #12 of 23
How sad and scary for them, So glad no one got hurt.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bella713 View Post
How sad and scary for them, So glad no one got hurt.
glad they made it out safely!
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!

They seem to be coping ok. They went back to the house today to get some clothes and stuff and spent the day at the laundry mat washing clothes that she will need for work. My brother is currently off on disability because he recently had surgery on his right hand, so he currently doesn't need his work uniforms which require dry cleaning, but they took a bunch of stuff to the cleaners too.

They currently don't have any pets to worry about.

Their insurance company seem to be acting very quickly. The insurance company has already made arrangements for them to move into a furnished apartment downtown, across the river from me actually.

This is the second fire he's lived through!

Before he bought that house he was living in a townhouse style apartment that had a front door that entered into an apartment hallway, but it also had patio doors that went directly outside. He had some plastic shopping bags jammed in between the fridge and the cupboards and somehow he had a grease fire that extended to the plastic bags. There was extensive damage to the kitchen. Unfortunately at that time he didn't have insurance, but he's really handy with construction so he did the repairs himself which included new cupboards a new fridge and new flooring.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
My brother is still not living in his house. They now tell him that the estimated damage is about $100,000. A huge problem is the smoke fall out because it contained plastic and whatever filler from the dog bed that burned.

The insurance company has had his house completely emptied of everything. All furniture, all papers and pictures and everything has to be washed/wiped/treated.

They even tossed out all of the frozen foods from inside the freezer which was not near the fire and hadn't defrosted. I don't understand that. A sealed frozen turkey should be ok to use so long as the plastic outside is washed before removing the pastic. But according to the people doing the cleaning, all foods have to be thrown out for safety reasons even if they are in sealed containers.

They also think it will be 6 or 7 months if not more before he can move back in. And by the pace that things are moving, my brother thinks it will be longer than that
post #16 of 23
Oh my! Thank the Lord that they're all right! I hope everything goes smoothly for them, and that they'll be able to move back into their house soon!

~KK~
post #17 of 23
I'm glad they are ok Many vibes headed their way for a quick clean up of their house
post #18 of 23
Good lord! I missed this when you first posted it. My parents had a basement fire shortly after I moved out due to old wiring. They had to get new wiring and all new plumming in the basement and the entire house cleaned, but it only took a little over a month before they could move back in. Then, of course, we had to clean everything all over again to my mom's satisfaction. The cleaning people also threw out everything that wasn't canned and anything plastic (tupperware, containers, etc).

I hope they get back home soon. It does sound like they are dragging their feet getting things repaired, but if chemicals were involved it is probably more complicated than my parents' fire.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just got off the phone with my brother.

Now he's saying that he was told the damage is more like $170,000.00!!!

He said something about a "pressurized fire" and the smoke was pushed into places it wouldn't normally have gone.

As a result they have to gut the entire inside of his house. They have to pull down all of the dry wall and ceilings and put in a smoke sealant over the insulation, rip up all of the floors including the hardwood floors and replace them, take out the cupboards and counters in the kitchen and replace them. Replace all of their appliances: fridge and stove, washer, dryer, deep freezer, microwave, and replace the windows. He even said they mentioned having to replace the wiring and plumbing!!!

He said that the contractor who is doing the work is disputing stuff the appraiser said needed to be replaced, so now they are all in a battle over what has to be done, and work hasn't even started on the place other than to have it emptied of personal possessions!

Anyone know what a pressurized fire is? I can't see anything online about it.
post #20 of 23
I would call your local fire dept and ask them??
post #21 of 23
I just asked my husband, who is a fire fighter (granted, volunteer and just started last year) but his understanding of a pressurized fire is where the smoke had no escape route. Did the fire blow out a window or anything where the heat could escape? If not, the fire raise the air temp and hot air wants to escape (causing pressure), so it could have forced smoke into the electrical sockets, up the plumming, into the cracks of the walls, under baseboards....everywhere. So, it COULD honestly be that much of a mess. To replace all the dry wall and insulation may be the only choice. This is just his opinion, but he said it sounds like a nightmare. I would call your local fire dept just to verify but that was his understanding of a pressurized fire.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
I just asked my husband, who is a fire fighter (granted, volunteer and just started last year) but his understanding of a pressurized fire is where the smoke had no escape route. Did the fire blow out a window or anything where the heat could escape? If not, the fire raise the air temp and hot air wants to escape (causing pressure), so it could have forced smoke into the electrical sockets, up the plumming, into the cracks of the walls, under baseboards....everywhere. So, it COULD honestly be that much of a mess. To replace all the dry wall and insulation may be the only choice. This is just his opinion, but he said it sounds like a nightmare. I would call your local fire dept just to verify but that was his understanding of a pressurized fire.
Thanks That makes sense. I'll let my brother know because he's pretty confused about it all too.

No, there were no blown out windows. The fire was in the basement and was contained to a small area in the laundry room which didn't have any windows.
post #23 of 23
Lots of vibes coming his way
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