Grateful but also really ticked off!!!!!!!!! - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Grateful but also really ticked off!!!!!!!!!

Monday morning we got a call for our daughter. While she was at work Easter Sunday evening, her apartment complex caught fire (lightning strike to a power pole, traveled down the wires into the apt. next to her unit.) Fire got into the common attic, traveled into other units by the shared HVAC ducting and disaster. She has lost EVERYTHING she owns except the clothing she was wearing and didn't find out about this until she returned home Monday about 7am. She's fine but devastated by the loss of her possessions but also feeling guilty because she wasn't there to save her pets (rescued cats, both of which she's had for years.)

I'm grateful she's alive, but just learned that the apartments didn't have smoke detectors/alarms and that her window were sealed by caulking and could not be opened!!! Had she been home, she wouldn't have been able to evacuate because the fire was between her and the stairs. My first instinct Monday morning was to get on a flight and head to IN. I'm glad I didn't because, learning about the conditions of the apartment, I would have needed bail money after having a "talk" with the landlord.

It's only "stuff," and all but the cats can be replaced. The Fire Dept and Red Cross have been really wonderful and she has good support from her boyfriend and his family. She's still alive and that's all that really matters.

I guess the take away from this is to really check on the fire safety precautions if anyone, or anyone you know, is living in a shared building.

Thanks for allowing me to vent.

Ray

UPDATE (04-20-2017)

I just received an update. The fire was not caused by a lighting strike,
but by faulting wiring in the apartment where it originated.

Ray

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Last edited by Ray; 04-20-2017 at 07:56 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 08:19 PM
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Wow, that is terrible and good at the same time.
It's hard to believe they didn't have smoke detectors. That is a requirement almost everywhere.

Hope she had renters insurance.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:03 PM
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Happened to me when I was young. Was sharing an apartment with three friends. One of their friends was a real douche bag. So much so that myself and one of the other room mates had told the other room mate that his friend was NEVER allowed back in our apartment.

We were both at work and our other room mate decided to have this idiot and his girl friend over. They tried to light the fire place with a jug of gas. When the jug caught on fire they thru a blanket on it to try and put it out, spreading the fire all over the apartment.

I too lost everything and only found out after I came home from my job. Lost all my racing equipment, a few guns, and about 2000 rounds of 12 gage shells as I was a avid skeet reloader. I had a huge box of primed only shells sitting on the porch and the fire department refused to go into the place because the shells were going off.

Fortunately for me my name wasn't on the lease and I had kicked the guy out multiple times, so it could have been worse, and was for the rest of my room mates. I really haven't seen those guys since, but hear it was not good. that was over 25 years ago. I did get a check from fire starter douche bag for $3000, which may have covered 1/4 of my loss, but it was better than nothing.

The worst part is that I had talked it over with one of my room mates just the week before about how we needed renters insurance.

Glad everyone was ok...in both instances. as you said, it's just stuff.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Monday morning we got a call for our daughter. While she was at work Easter Sunday evening, her apartment complex caught fire (lightning strike to a power pole, traveled down the wires into the apt. next to her unit.) Fire got into the common attic, traveled into other units by the shared HVAC ducting and disaster. She has lost EVERYTHING she owns except the clothing she was wearing and didn't find out about this until she returned home Monday about 7am. She's fine but devastated by the loss of her possessions but also feeling guilty because she wasn't there to save her pets (rescued cats, both of which she's had for years.)

I'm grateful she's alive, but just learned that the apartments didn't have smoke detectors/alarms and that her window were sealed by caulking and could not be opened!!! Had she been home, she wouldn't have been able to evacuate because the fire was between her and the stairs. My first instinct Monday morning was to get on a flight and head to IN. I'm glad I didn't because, learning about the conditions of the apartment, I would have needed bail money after having a "talk" with the landlord.

It's only "stuff," and all but the cats can be replaced. The Fire Dept and Red Cross have been really wonderful and she has good support from her boyfriend and his family. She's still alive and that's all that really matters.

I guess the take away from this is to really check on the fire safety precautions if anyone, or anyone you know, is living in a shared building.

Thanks for allowing me to vent.

Ray
I would like to add, don't assume everyone else it taking the safety and fire hazard precautions seriously.

I was in a house fire when I was 6 years old. The oil furnace caught fire and the whole ceiling was on fire when I woke up. I woke my parents and musta thought they would put it out, and I went back to bed. As they were standing outside waiting for the fire truck, they noticed that I was not there.

My dad had to break thru the storm door to get in to rescue me. I'll never forget the pain of smoke inhalation. Must be a bad way to go.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:08 AM
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Whoa! This sounds familiar. She's not in Lawrenceburg is she?

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:25 PM
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Let me start off with, Yes it is the landlord's responsibility to make sure there are working smoke detectors.

But, that doesn't mean a tenant can't go ahead and do it on their own if the landlord doesn't. Heck they could probably just take it out of their rent payment and send the landlord a copy of the receipt. Let a landlord try to take a tenant to court for non payment over that. I don't think they will get far.

Plus, coming at this from the other side, my FIL owned a two family he rented out before he passed away and my dad does as well. It is almost impossible to keep working smoke detectors in these places. One was wired plus battery. As soon as the battery goes the tenants flip the breaker and pull the battery out. Or rip it off the ceiling entirely. The other is just battery because it is almost impossible to run wires in an old building. As soon as the battery starts to beep again the tenants just pull it out. Evidentally they don't think their lives are worth the price of a battery. On top of that, the building has fuses and even though we replace them with the expensive fuses you can just push the button to reset, every time we go to inspect we find one or more of the 15 amp have been replaced with a cheapo 20 amp. So, not only are they not willing to pay for a battery (heck they could buy it and just take it out of their rent check) they take the risk of starting a fire.

And if something does go wrong, guess who will be held to blame!

Oh, I should mention at least now there is an option of buying smoke detectors with a sealed 10 year lithium battery. So hopefully that's one less headache.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:39 PM
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Let me start off with, Yes it is the landlord's responsibility to make sure there are working smoke detectors.

It is almost impossible to keep working smoke detectors in these places. y. As soon as the battery goes the tenants flip the breaker and pull the battery out. So, not only are they not willing to pay for a battery (heck they could buy it and just take it out of their rent check) they take the risk of starting a fire.
.
You would be surprised to find out how many tenants take the battery out of a working smoke detector and put it in a toy for their kids instead of just buying their own batteries.

I started a volunteer program in my city to go out and furnish and install free smoke detectors in peoples homes. The fire department went with us and when asked by the owner would walk through and advise us where to install them. Even then the number of people who said no thanks or GO AWAY was staggering. We did manage to get about 500 homes done in the 5 years I ran that program. As mentioned before though we couldn't install them if it was a rental. BUT we gave them one and said tell the landlord the fire department strongly reminds you these are required in a rental.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 04:30 PM
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As someone that owns rentals .If I owned a rental without smoke detectors or sealed windows ,I would lose my rear end . As a owner we assume all responsibility for safety items. Yes we cant control if they take out batteries but got to have them in every room. They make new ones that have built in batteries that last 10 years. As a father myself I would be really pissed off knowing my child was living like that. I would also educate her to always look for certain safety items. Also if this owner owns anymore properties ,I would push the fire dept or local code enforcement to inspect his other properties to make sure no other gross violations are present. Lastly if I were the owner I would worry about legal action from my tenants . Who's to say smoke detectors could have caused faster reporting to the fire dept ,possibly causing less damage.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:24 PM
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What an awful thing to endure. Thank God she is OK.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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She and I have had a little chat (with a longer one still to come) about safety. But, she had 3-days to move from her other apt and had to take what she could find. I'm certain that she'll make a much better choice next time.

Ray

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 12:40 AM
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Sorry to hear, Ray. As you say - it could have been much, much worse. Some of my kids have to learn the hard way (guess where they got it!) but those lessons will never be forgotten. Take comfort in that.
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