From my bedroom I can see the windows of the house across the street are still boarded up. It seems to be taking forever to clean up and restore what once was a beautiful decorated home.
One day last September, I received a call from my wife telling me that our street was full of police and fire trucks. Our neighbour’s house was on fire. Flames leaked out the front and side of the house. The fire department was able to control the fire within a couple of hours. Luckily there were no casualties, but the damage was extensive. We later heard that the lint in the dryer caught fire, and then spread from the laundry room to the garage and hallway. The mother was home with her two children and smelled smoke, saw the flames and was able to leave the house unharmed. After the insurance adjuster checked out the site, he called in security to preserve the evidence and to ensure that nobody would be able to enter the premise, preventing any further incidents.
Several companies, including ASAP Secured, provide fire scene security. Experienced guards are sent to the site within two hours guaranteed. Security will stay on site until the investigation is completed, or the risk of unauthorized people entering the premise has been reduced. In this case, the house got boarded up after 2 days. The structure was still intact, leading to a yearlong renovation that is still underway. It is important to be aware of the risks of a fire in your home and to take precautions. Cleaning the lint out of the dryer regularly, not leaving the stove on and not leaving the iron plugged in when going away are some common sense practices. Also important is installing smoke and CO alarms in the main areas of your house. These devices need to be tested regularly for battery efficiency.
As for my neighbours across the street, the mother was awake and smelled the smoke early, giving her the opportunity to leave in time, but it could have ended in a real disaster including the loss of several lives. In the end, their insurance covered most of the damage and the whole neighbourhood also chipped in to help them out.