Apartment building fire

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I agree about the adjuster, the co I am using is doing that. Im just worried about how the smoke traveled inside the walls and floors to different apartments and if it can come back through the walls and outlets etc.
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Well ransley the question here is whether you want the work done right so you will never have any complaints in the future, or you choose to go along with only what your insurance will cover and deal with any issues that come up later on by yourself out-of-pocket once the claim has been settled...
Umm... As far as my fire damage experience goes, it is limited to commercial buildings... Complete stripping of any sheetrock in the fire/heavy smoke damaged areas and any carpeting which had contact with the odor and/or run off water from the fire fighting efforts spoil it...
How many units in the building ? How many effected by the damage ?
If you are opening up the walls, that might open up a can of worms... Would the electrical be up to current code ? Plumbing ? Would you have to install sprinkler protection (not sure what your local codes are)...
I assume your occupancy certificate was revoked due to the fire damage for at least several of the worst damaged units if not the entire building...
The questions you should be asking your local AHJ is "What do I need to do to pass inspection and get new certificates of occupancy?" rather than what you should be going back and forth with your insurance company over... Prioritize the work by repairing the less damaged units so you can get some rental revenue back ASAP, but in order to do that you need to know what the scope of your work will be as far as what the AHJ is going to require, not what your insurance company proposes you should be compensated for...
You are either going to be spending your own money to get the project going and battling with your insurer via an adjuster to get compensated or you will be getting payouts in increments for work specifically approved by the insurance company... Fighting to include work being required by the AHJ that the insurance company debates whether or not it should be covered by the loss because the building has not been upgraded over the years prudently to keep up with the changes in the code requirements...
As far as the smoke smell coming back -- what are the floors made of ? Wood should be sanded and resealed with exterior polyurethane like others have suggested... Carpets and padding should be discarded and replaced, the sub-floor surface under any carpeting should be sealed...
The concept is encapsulation the same with mold/water damage issues...
If you are concerned about the smells which are trapped inside the walls the only way to prevent that from being an issue is to gut the walls, paint anything structural which you will not remove and replace to encapsulate any odors which have been deposited and then rebuild the walls...
If the building is very old, this will give you an unprecedented opportunity to upgrade things which you would never have done under normal circumstances -- if you are able to access any capital to reinvest in your apartment building now is the time to upgrade electrical, rewire rooms so you can control wall outlets via a switch loop, install better telephone, cable and internet facilities which your tenants can utilize... Does each individual unit have its own water shut off valves so you can do work in one unit without shutting down the water to the entire building ? You can add sprinkler protection if your building doesn't have it now, every wall cavity can be insulated with mineral wool insulation adding more passive fire protection and sound deadening between the units and even rooms within the same unit... Through this disaster you are being given an opportunity to do a lot of things to bring your building into the modern era that most property owners would never dream of doing to a fully rented apartment house... It all depends on whether you can access funds and how thorough you want to be in making sure there will be no further issues down the road... I mean if your tenants are displaced and rent elsewhere during the repair work, would you be informing the new tenants that there was fire damage and that the building wasn't gutted and fully repaired to ensure no smells or mold would occur in the future from that disaster ? How long do you want to keep making that disclosure before you can say you fully rebuilt the interiors of the effected units ? It isn't something you can just paint Kilz over and walk away from especially if it is an older building...
~~ Evan
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I want it fixed right the right way so there are no issues when its 95-100 outside with 90% humidity, Its a 14 unit with 4 badly affected by smoke, only one burnt, 2 hallways, and 4 that have had smoke on walls and its inside the walls opened up, I get code upgrade on the insurance and have a fire restoration co. Im wondering if smoke that traveled in the floors and walls will affect more than I can see or smell now, since now the heat is off and its maybe 45f inside. 4 units are still rented but one tenant moved from the as she said smoke smell was comming up through the radiator pipe openings, [what going to happen when its 90f- 100f and 90% humidity?
I see what you are saying and agree, its a real mess, I had someone just walk through yesterday and they got a headache and said they never get headaches, its from the smoke smell.
Floors are oak, and vinyl in kitchens, Can sanding oak cure whats underneath that the smoke went through the ceilings? And will Polyurethane keep out that smoke smell? What I am seeing is that smoke damage is 90% - 95% of the problem and job cost.
Yes all that you have said I see as true, what a mess I have alot to learn on my first fire. Its good I have code upgrades so I will be calling the citys inspectors alot to be sure we do it right, but how do you Know, if you open a wall several apartments away and test it with a rubber sponge and its dark, that smoke that will not smell later comming in the fixtures and outlets etc? How do you test and know when you are ok and to stop? I cant risk loosing tenants because they complain about smoke next year when its 90f outside and the job is closed and finished. What I do now will determine everything of the future.
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I don't have experience with smoke damaged wood flooring, but I have seen a burnt-out area in a building where I used to work have the concrete floor under the carpeting sandblasted and epoxy painted to seal it in case of some future water issue...
What sort of fire alarm system did this building have installed prior to the arson fire incident ? Might be worth some extra money spent on your part to upgrade that even if it wouldn't be covered by anyone as you wouldn't want to have any issues down the road...
Without knowing more about the layout of the building and where the fire damage occurred I really can't offer specific advice as to what to do... It all depends on what has to be opened up and where... But realistically like I said before, you will probably never be in a position to open up everything ever again unless another fire happens... This is the time to do any upgrades you ever fantasized about doing as there will never be a better time...
As to the tenants you have remaining in the building, have you considered offering them reduced rental rates until the damages can be repaired -- some rental revenue is better than none if they decide to leave... Also setting up plastic containment areas and a "sally port" between the occupied area and the damaged area in any common access hallways then scrubbing down the occupied areas even though they don't appear to be dirty would help any odors dissipate faster... Do not allow any workers or people coming to examine the fire scene to use the same entrance to the building as the remaining occupants, they will track the dirt and odor into the area where people have to live -- use another entry even if it is inconvenient to access (such as having to go downstairs to access a basement door and come back up through the building where it would have been much shorter to come in directly through the front door)...
I don't know what your situation is tenant wise, a lot of people who have the means to move after a fire do so because of the hassles of having to live elsewhere during the rebuilding phase and a fire loss is one of the things in most leases that can allow a tenant to break the lease without paying any penalty or rent after the date of the fire, so many apartment renters will do just that and only deal with moving once...
~~ Evan
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Assume every unit that got smoke will need to be completely repainted, carpet replaced, wood floors resealed. The sooner you have someone start ventilating them the better. And get the fire damaged materials out as soon as possible.
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On Thu, 31 Mar 2011 06:09:49 -0700 (PDT), jamesgangnc

The insurance company likely won't settle for his assumption. Either they have to say it, or he has to get someone else to say it, or he has to get one of those insurance adjuters to negotiate it.

And they may pay only the cost of depreciated carpeting, which is less than what he'll likely have to pay for replacement. They'll probably send an adjuster quickly, but he should talk to the adjuster. If he rips up carpeting he could have kept, he'll have to come up with part or all of the money to replace it.
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*The short answer is yes. Smoke will travel through all penetrations and openings. Many many years ago I did a short stint with an electrical contractor who specialized in insurance work. It was almost all fire jobs and I think that smell still lingers in my nose. The good news is that after a complete cleanup and everything is replaced or sealed, you would never know that a fire took place. I don't know how you would get the smell out of insulation except for replacement. Wood and drywall can be painted, but even the wall switches and electrical outlets will smell of smoke. I'm thinking that you would need to open up one side of a wall, remove and dispose of the insulation, paint the inside of the wall studs and drywall, install new insulation and close up the one side with new drywall.
In the meantime, I know it's cold outside, but open the windows a little and start airing the place out. It will be better to work in if some of the smell is gone.

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Document continiously all work done, even though insurance company will be doing perodic inspections.
Insurance....... hey prove you insulated those walls:(
Sure heres a before and after photo with signs in photos identifying locations:)
With walls open its time to make all upgrades, since you can get more rent for a modern good looking apartment, and better tenants:)
low lives wouldnt want to pay more and go elsewhere:)
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I agree , but all the apartments were redone in 07 to like new, so its really a pain in the ass this job.
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Gang related, a gasolene bomb, and they went for the wrong guy the cops said. So it spread real fast at 330 am on the coldest night of the year, near 0. 47 doors and windows the fire dept busted out,
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news:d170b4dc-f844-4c33-b149-
<stuff snipped>
<Gang related, a gasolene bomb, and they went for the wrong guy the cops said. So it spread real fast at 330 am on the coldest night of the year, near 0. 47 doors and windows the fire dept busted out,>
Yeow! Is this California? No wait, not at 0 degrees. California is what I think when I hear the words "gang related" although I realize gangs are everywhere these days. I read some Mexican gang has a nationwide dialup & deliver heroin franchise and that they solict new customers in the parking lots of drug rehab clinics. They use beater cars and burner phones and never carry more than one delivery at a time. Even when they catch them, they can't make trafficking stick because of the small amounts. Forfeiting a beater Cheby and a $10 throw-away phone is not much of a penalty. When they do manage to get themselves jailed, they recruit new members for their crew.
Sorry about your loss. You can do everything right and still get nailed. Who said there's no such that as luck? There's definitely good AND bad luck! I went through a subzero fire. What the fire didn't burn, the fireman chopped, drowned and froze. But this was a rowhouse and I understand the need to keep fires contained quickly, especially on windy nights, before they spread to other houses. I've known of whole blocks of rowhouses that went up in flames from a single ignition point. When it was all over it started snowing. It's an eerie feeling watching moonlit snowflakes falling into what's left of your living room. )-:
-- Bobby G.
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Yes gangs, in Chicago, just a few can ruin a neighborhood, or whole town or maybe our country. They sure are ruining their home country Mexico.
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wrote in message

<Yes gangs, in Chicago, just a few can ruin a neighborhood, or whole town or maybe our country. They sure are ruining their home country Mexico.>
Got 'em here in DC. Won't even type their name as they seem to ego surf for bad publicity. (-: I feel like I know Chicagoland because WGN is one of the few channels left on my Comcast Basic Cable Screwjob. I've also been watching the Chicago Code on TV. Pretty entertaining. Lots of scenes filmed in and around town. Lived in Buffalo for a while, so I know about lake effect snow, too. There were ropes rigged alongside all the building pathways at U of B because the wind and snow and ice got so bad in the winter. I remember pulling myself along to reach an 8AM chem class thinking "I thought I was going to college, not climbing Mt. Everest with a load of textbooks!"
We had a great anti-gang task force but that got defunded just in time for what I predict will be a rise in criminal activity due to the economy. It's just part of the great boom/bust cycle.
-- Bobby G.
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On 4/2/2011 9:11 AM, ransley wrote:

I think you'll find most of the younger ones are born here. So they are your fellow citizens, like it or not. Not many teenagers make the Long Walk.
--
aem sends...

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just for sport:)
A landlord with a aged buildng has K&T, which somehow causes the fire.
Would the landlord by having K&T be somehow on the hook for possesions damaged by a electrical fire?-
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There are codes which must be maintained for rental buildings, you get inspections every few years so K T in a rental in my area is unlikely. Here the inspectors tag you if they see peeling paint, a rusted gutter or anything.
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I could not open it
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wrote:

I could not open it
The hyena pic (just search Google images for "hyena on a rope") - I just tried the above link and it works fine. As for the other, try the site below - a very similar photo
http://laughmaine.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/borderpatrolagents.jpg
-- Bobby G.
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On Sat, 2 Apr 2011 15:49:29 -0400, "Robert Green"

LOL. Not just very similar, but another picture of the very same thing.
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wrote:

Sick but very funny. Going into the collection with the hyena on a rope leash with a African warrior dressed in tartan plaid.
http://www.hemmy.net/images/animals/hyenapet02.jpg
-- Bobby G.
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