Please be careful, folks. I've not met these people. But, I'm an email
friend of Steve Spence. I've written to ask what the needs are. The
house was a total loss, and there was no insurance.
Be careful. I was reminded last Wednesday that a negligent truck
driver can total my Blazer, in an instant. A moment of inattention to
fireplace ashes, and the house is gone.
I've emailed Steve (who is out of town at the moment, and has
internet). What are the family's needs. Might be something we on AHR
can help with.
Probably a scam of some sort. Scams are heavy this time of year. Very
vague report. Anyway, if they couldn't afford insurance, they couldn't
afford the house.
I'll bet he has a P.O. box to send money to.
Hank <~~~~~ takes responsibility for own stupid acts.
Not enough information to assume that. There are a lot of houses out
there that aren't worth insuring but are still habitable.
Fires caused by careless disposal of ashes are a common source of
house fires. Mine go from the stove (ash pan) right out the door and
spread on the lawn.
There are a whole bunch of people out there, hard working and honest
who have their backs to the wall. When the kids need food some things
have to be cut. My family was one of them. We had no insurance and I
don't think there was any one amongst the neighboring farmers that did
either. This was back mid 30s through the 40s.
All too true, time a crew arrives at the station then gets out into
the country to the scene...not much to be done except protect other
near-by buildings. I had a grass fire in the highway ditch. Called
them and was sweating blood while trying to keep it out of my pasture
by the time they arrived. One staion 4 mile away, one 6 and both
showed about the same time.
Beyond the issue of not really properly addressing fire issues to begin
with - more smoke detectors for earlier warning, more fireproof barrier
materials and of course options to detach the fire from the house
entirely i.e. outdoor boiler, the big issue sounds like having the house
occupied by relatives who were not fully trained and cognizant of the
proper procedures for managing the wood stove(s), hot ashes, etc.
No, self insurance is not part of being off grid. It is certainly
possible to be commercially insured off grid, however you can not do it
while being "old school" and not taking things like fire safety
seriously. As I noted, things such as wood fired outdoor boilers are
insurable since they do not present a fire hazard to the house, only to
a small shed at most. An "old school" dry wooden farm house with wood
stoves, inadequate clearances, and without adjacent fire rated surfaces
*is* a fire hazard as shown by this fire and is thus not insurable.
Not conventionably insurable, but if actresses can insure their legs, some
insurer, somewhere will sell you a policy. You might not be able to afford
the premiums, though . . . (-:
Wood stoves inside a house are also insureable. I didn't even have to
pay extra insurance when I installed mine.
True, but none of that was the proximate cause of the fire. There is
also nothign to show that any of that was even present.
You seem to be making a whole bunch of unsupported assumptions. I
have asked repeatedly where you got the information that the house was
As long as it is UL (or equivalent) listed and installed according to
code you can get insurance (sometimes paying a premium)
Some places, under some conditions
But insurance companies, contrary to common perception are NOT in the
risk business. Which is why a lot of companies, in a lot of areas,
either will not cover, or will heavilly surcharge, a house with wood
heat as the primary source of heat. The numbers are there. The risk
of something like what happened to the Spence Homestead are
significantly higher when wood heat is the primary heat source for a
residence. The under-writers assess the risk and attach a dollar
figure to it. They then attempt to reduce their exposure to
high-dollar-risk policies, and attempt to make those exposures as
close to self financing as possible - which means higher premiums
1. Where is there anything showing his house couldn't be insured?
2. How does "improper disposal of ashes" show his setup was "not
Has absolutely nothing to do with whether his installation was safe or
I heat almost solely with wood. I am in the county. I have only a
well with 3/4hp pump for water source.
Three strikes but I have full insurance and it was inspected and
passed by the agent.
How I, or anyone, disposes of ashes has no effect on the "insurable"
status of a place. Now if I were to burn it down due to poor
disposing of ashes _and he could prove it_ the policy probably
wouldn't pay out.
Spokane Wa almost always has at least one fire a year caused by some
idiot putting a container of hot ashes out on their deck. The guy
this year added a new twist. Beginning of heating season he put the
container propped against his wood pile.
Stupidity cannot be rated by an insurer.
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