Several year ago, a guy I know bought a rural home which had a fire. He
pretty much paid for the land and a garage, and the house was included
for free. Aside from smoke damage, most of the house was salvagable, and
had not burned. But one room was burned. He knew he had a lot of work to
do, but for a good price, he bought it.
He has since been rebuilding. Initially, the room that burned had to be
rebuilt from the floor up. The rest of the house had to have much of the
sheetrock, cabinets, flooring and so on, replaced because of the smoke
damage, as well as replacing all the wiring.
But, there is a reason I'm posting this, because it's a very bizarre
situation. The room where the fire started, ignited because of an
electrical short. But one that no one would expect. Whoever built that
house, put sheetrock on the walls, covered them with chicken wire, then
applied another layer of sheetrock over the chicken wire. Dont ask me
why.... I asked the guy who now owns it, and he said he tried to locate
the original owner or builder, but it appers the guy died from old age.
So, no one knows why they used 2 layers of sheetrock or the chicken
My thoughts on this could be two reasons. He was going to apply some
sort of stucco to the walls and the chicken wire was the base for it,
then changed his mind and just covered the walls again with more
sheetrock. OR the chicken wire was intended to keep rodents out, but I
know for fact that mice and rats can get thru a hole much smaller than
the holes in chicken wire. Anyhow, no one really knows the reason.....
However, the fire was caused because a drywall screw penetrated an
electrical cable. That same screw was contacting the chicken wire
between the layers of sheetrock. And that chicken wire was likely
grounded to an electrical box, or maybe pipes, or something else. It was
probably like that for years. One day the chicken wire got hot enough to
start the place on fire.
This was the determination of the cause of the fire from the fire
investigators. The present owner said when they tore those walls down,
they could see sections of the chicken wire were welded and melted and
left burn marks on the paper coating of the sheetrock. He also said the
teardown was a tough job because of that chicken wire.
This is definitely an unusual case, so I thought I'd share it!