Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fire Update

Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers. We have good news- the ServePro company has finished the smoke/fire clean up stage 1 earlier than expected. They finished last night and so we have been able to return home today. This entire restoration process has been fascinating to watch. Wednesday the duct cleaning people subcontracted by ServePro began their work. They used special equipment to clean our entire heating/cooling system and then sealed off the vents with fancy filters [haha they just used cheesecloth]. Wednesday was also the day the dry cleaning company came and picked up items from the house for cleaning. Thursday morning ServePro began their detailed cleaning. It took them two 8-10 hour days to complete the entire job.

We will not have use of our kitchen until the contractors complete their work, but we can at least sleep in our own beds. Except that we have no sheets or pillows or towels. The dry cleaning company our insurance company hired has taken ALL fabric out of the house to treat for smoke removal with the exception of some clothes in our closet for us to wear and the earliest they will be finished is Wednesday. So we will need to go to Wal-mart and pick up some linens for temporary use. We also have no privacy downstairs as they stripped and discarded all of our blinds.

The cleaning company (ServePro) was amazing. They cleaned EVERY surface, item, shelf, drawer, etc etc in the entire house. It is as if Cinderella has been here. Spotless. For this they charged our insurance company $5000, plus we paid our $1000 deductible to them as well. The duct cleaning was another $1800 billed directly to our insurance company.

Unfortunately, now that the cleaning company has finished, the extent of the damage is highlighted clearly. The countertops and cabinets are toast. Our garbage disposal is junked because the firemen dropped a lot of glass from the microwave into the sink during their visit. The linoleum floor has permanent soot marks (The Pergo in the dining room is ok yay!). The ceilings and walls are still blackened throughout the downstairs of the home so it will need a complete repaint job and some of them may need re-drywalling. And obviously as part of the restoration we will be getting new smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher.

We had a laugh when reading the list of unrecoverable items as inventoried by ServePro. They listed our chile ristra as a “bell pepper hanging ornament”.

We will keep you updated on the adventure that is sure to be the contractor’s restoration job which begins Monday.

Never ever ever leave a pan with oil unattended. This is a lesson brought to you by my cautionary tale. Right up there with never ever walk across an attic floor that hasn’t been finished. Every year I learn new and valuable things the hard way.

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