I came within a few seconds of losing my entire radio collection, and maybe our entire home.
I had been in the display room working on a new tube display, I had gone out to the garage to get a tool, when Belinda and I came back inside the smoke alarms were going off.Belinda went into the display room while I was trying to turn off the alarms, she hollered that there was a fire in my little workshop that's just off the display room.
I went on to look, saw the flames through the bi-fold door, I told her to call 911 while I went to get the fire extinguisher.Back in the display room I pushed open the door and saw
the flames which by now were 3 or 4 feet tall, one good burst of my $5 Shelby Hamfest fire extinguisher and the fire was out.
I found the little clip on "el cheapo" electric fan was laying on the floor all melted, It had apparently locked up and heated up until it melted the clip that was holding it up at the top door frame, it dropped to the floor and caught the edge of the carpet on fire.
It made a amazing amount of smoke, by the time the local fire dept. got here the room was full of smoke down to about 3 feet from the floor. They had high power smoke removal fan that we put in the door way side and the patio door to push the smoke out.
Below are photos of the inside of the workshop door where the flames were licking upward when I first saw them. And from the display room after it was out. and finally the burnt and melted the cheapo electric fan.
Many thanks to the Wesley Chapel VFD and my best friend Mark Cleary that came out to help, they had some big heavy duty air movers that sucked all the smoke out, all that is except what settled on every flat surface in the display room. It's going to take a lot of wiping to clean this up.
Belinda called Nationwide who we have our homeowners insurance with Sunday
morning to report the fire.
Monday was a holiday so their offices were not open but a representative from a restoration & recovery company came to the house to see the damage he must have taken 50 photos.
He said he would be coming back Tuesday and would bring back with him
the Nationwide "Large Claims Adjuster". I was really worried about dealing with
the insurance company. I can tell you now my fears were in vain.
The really nice lady who is the "Large Claims Adjuster" for the Charlotte area was
super nice. She was really interested in the collection, she asked a lot of questions,
we must have spent an hour and a half showing her the collection. When we were
done she looked at the guy with the restoration company and said "I don't know
how to estimate the cost, but what ever it takes make it right".
As I'm writing this it's now Friday of the next week, their crew has been here
almost all day yesterday and all day today. They cleaned every thing in the entire
first floor of our home. It hasn't been this clean in the 22 years we've lived here.
Starting on Monday they're going to clean and inventory the entire radio collection,
every single item (there must be close to 1000 items) in the room,
and then remove them to portable shelves they're going to put in every
spare space they can find in the house. Then they're going to strip the room including
the popcorn ceiling and carpet and clean and repaint.
then install new carpet and new shelving boards since they're afraid of how
hard it'll be to clean and prep the old particle board shelving I have now.