Recent Fire Damage Posts

Smoldering Litter Fire

6/14/2020 (Permalink)

A singed light fixture over a bed of pet litter A hot lamp, in pet litter, equals smoke...lots of it.

The heat lamp drops into the litter at the bottom of the glass cage...and VOILA!...smoke through the whole place.

Fortunately, the pet had been taken out for a trip a little earlier, probably when the lamp was bumped and fell into the litter in this Hewitt, TX fire damage.

While only a little of the litter actually burned, the slow smoldering fire produced a lot of smoke...and smell.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company,  was called in to clean and deodorize the residence.  The folks had some health issues which were worked through in the process.

SERVPRO of Waco.

There is only one! 

Serving the greater Waco and Central Texas area since 2001.

(254) 756-4300

Let us help you through damages to your place, too.

Sometimes they just have to cut it open

6/14/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall patch in ceiling of soot dinged drywall In a fire, sometimes they have to cut open the ceiling.

Fire in the attic!

Sometimes a fire gets started in the attic and the access to the attic is far from the fire site.

The only thing the fire department can do is for this is usually to cut a hole through the ceiling near the fire from the room(s) below.

This will give access to treat the fire or to test that it is out.

Good thing to do.

Bad thing for the unaffected building area below the ceiling.  Smoke, ash and debris can and will come out into the area below.

On this Hamilton, TX fire, an opening was cut just above the fireplace to the right side.  It is patched closed in the picture.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, was called in to clean the living areas of the home.

All in all, very lucky homeowners on this one.

SERVPRO of Waco has been helping hundreds of folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area through property damage clean up & restoration for over 19 years.

There is only one SERVPRO of Waco!

Let us help you.  (254) 756-4300

Re-Contamination of Soot & Dust

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Hand with soot on fingers after being wiped across a previously cleaned desk A return of soot and dust after the room was cleaned of soot and dust.

Often after a fire it is necessary to clean nearby and/or adjoining offices or rooms to make them usable while work begins and progresses in the area where the fire occurred.

Most of the time, this works out fine with only a bit of inconvenience.

Sometimes there is a bit of a smell or something minor for a while.

And then sometimes, each day greets you with a new round of soot and dust on the flat surfaces.  While it gets less and less after each cleaning, it is a frustration.

Are the doors being opened too much while air is being disturbed in the fire damage area? 

Are doors or windows to the outside opened in the fire damage area?

Is the HVAC system somehow getting new soot in it?

It becomes a mystery to solve.

Fire Flying Objects

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Marks on the warehouse ceiling where an exploded container hit Ceiling area struck by flying air container during a fire

All sorts of hazards can occur during a fire.

One not thought of right off the bat is the danger of objects filled with compress air, gases or liquids becoming projectiles.

Many of these type items are in metal cylinders of some sort which virtually explode launching the container in almost any direction.

The picture attached is of damage left behind after an air supply cylinder hit the ceiling during a fire.  Another cylinder was launched through an office window and one hit an exit door.

Fortunately, the people who discovered the fire shut the door immediately upon discovering the fire.  Without having opened it much at all.

Opening the door could have been a disaster for several possibilities.

Our kitchens and bathrooms also contain bottles of compressed substances which could become dangerous flying objects as well.

Active Wildfire

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

Fire truck speeding along a gravel road. Fire truck, refilled, and headed back to the fire line.

Wildfires are Different.

Rarely are we called onto a fire loss while the fire department(s) are still fighting the fire.  Our last wild fire damage job put us onto country roads the fire departments fighting the fire were still using as one of the accesses to get to the backside of the traveling fire line.  The staging area and firefighter parking area were on the road leading to our job.

We certainly got over and out of the road when they approached.

And talk about dust!  Turns out firetrucks loaded with water crush small stone roads into dust roads.

The fire fighters did an excellent job.  The customer we helped had little direct fire damage.  They did have some odor and light soot.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company,  has been helping folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area get things back to normal after damages to their homes, buildings and businesses for 19 years.

Need Your Fire Erased?

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

rectangular sponge in a clear cellophane package. When you can't clean it with liquids...

Wrapped inside this plastic is a SERVPRO Dry Clean Sponge.

At SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, we make use of these to cleaning soot off of almost anything which cannot be cleaned with liquids.

The folks at our headquarters who listed the items it can clean effectively underestimated the small item cleaning which can be done with it as well.

The dry clean sponge is also excellent to determine how far smoke has traveled through a building once it is hard to determine what does or doesn't have smoke damage as so much is damaged.

Our understanding the sponge is comprised of the same basic materials as a pencil eraser.  So we kid around about erasing the fire damage, but there is no joke in the good job they do.

SERVPRO of Waco has been helping folks and businesses in the greater Waco area and Central Texas area get through fire damage clean up since 2001.

Give us a call if we can be of assistance to you.

254-756-4300

Thermal Fogging

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Picture is of a thermal fog machine producing fragranced white smoke into the air inside a home. Thermal fogging after a fire to change the smell and get into small cracks and crevices.

Re-Smoke It??

One way to help reduce smoke and soot odors after a fire is to re-smoke the area with a smoke which smells better.  This coats the original smoke in the tiny cracks and crevices where the original smoke may have gone.

Doing the procedure requires having everyone and pets, etc., out of the building for several hours and then filling the area up again with the chosen smoke.  Application requires the person preforming the re-smoking to wear breathing protection.

After the application and the smoke dissipates/settles, then work can begin cleaning the structure and contents affected by the fire damage.

We usually recommend, and use, a cherry fragrance product.  Cherry is one of the fragrances best for use with smoke/fire smells.

Not a fan of cherry?  Other fragances are available. 

Recipe for Gray Soot and Terrible Smell

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

The 15 hour, simmered plastic container

A recipe you don't want to try!

Take one plastic food container and place it on an electric burner to simmer for 15 hours or so.

This particular one did not cause massive flame damage but did cause a good bit of soot.

A good practice for everyone is not to set anything on the stove burners which isn't cookware and isn't being used right away.

And if you are visiting someone's home, for whatever reason, don't fool with the stove.  If you have to check it for some reason, be sure it is off when you finish!

The biggest specialty of this recipe is an incredible bad smell which is extremely hard to get eliminate.

Lots a new painting happened afterwards.

Coryell County Wildfires

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Wildfire damage from in front of the customer's home. The fire damage continues off in the distance.

In July 2018, we assisted a family whose property was burned in the wildfires between Gatesville, TX and Copperas Cove, TX.

The drive out on the country lanes to get to the home was ominous.  Everything was burned and fire trucks were still returning to the area to get more water for further up the line.

This may have been the most unsettling drive to a job site we ever experienced.  Arriving at the customer's property/home and turning down the lane with everything around burned up was very different.  It made one feel very alone.

The firefighters did an incredible job saving the family's home from severe damage and saving all the contents of the home.  The fields and a couple of sheds did suffer severe damage.

SERVPRO of Waco was able to clean up the fire damage on the inside of the home pretty quickly.

Fire Clean Up Truck Ready to Roll

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Running with the fire trucks...or maybe just parked there for a small non-fire job. OK, it's the latter one.

Fire Clean Up Crew

Actually we were there for a small job - they let us pull into the bay to be near the door where we were working on a small job for the fire department.

It sure makes one feel important when they pull a fire truck out so you can park in its place!

The real fire fighting truck was positioned nearby, behind the building.

We are available to help with fire clean up after the fire fighters have the flame situation non-existent anymore.

Water damage can often be one the first damages needing addressed in a fire.

Fire trucks bring lots of water to the scene and things will get wet!

Trust SERVPRO of Waco to help you through the mess caused by a fire, from both flames and water.

Content insurance coverage problems?

8/19/2017 (Permalink)

Is your insurance contents coverage from your fire damage capped at a relatively low dollar amount and/or subject to depreciation with no replacement value cost feature?

If so, you may want to take the time in the first days of the cleaning and/or pack out to sort clothing and fabric items from the closets, etc.  Folks often find, on the return of the cleaned clothes, etc. there are items which have not been used in years.  These items often get donated in the end though.

Sorting these things right during the stress of beginning fire damage clean up and repair is a pain, but if contents coverage is a problem, it will save money to use on furniture, kitchen items, bedding, or heck, even new clothes.