Print Story It's just stuff
By LoppEar (Mon Nov 30, 2020 at 03:17:32 PM EST) (all tags)
Weekend before Thanksgiving, the workshed burned to the ground. We're all fine, it was built far enough from the house that it was all contained.

My 3yo was the first to see it, because I was in the toilet. She has made sure that's part of every retelling. Power surged in the house, and there was panic in her voice, so I rushed out. And out the the porch where it was already fully in flames.

Oh jesus. Oh jesus.

She's made sure that was part of every retelling too.

In hindsight, thankful it was already so clearly a loss that it didn't even cross my mind to try to rescue anything, to pull the motorcycle or something. But I did have to split my time between moving a garden hose in case it decided to move through the trees or grass towards the house, while she wanted to stay inside - so proud of her, she grabbed some library books to nervously flip through while I came in and out of the front door checking on her and checking on the fire.

It's 15min for us into town. Fire trucks were there in less time than that, which is tricky since 5 of those minutes are down a dirt road that I normally remind visitors is confusing because the house numbers aren't in order and by the time it gets to us you might think you're off the edge. Roof had already collapsed in the photo above I took right after calling 911, they spent a couple hours tearing it apart and soaking it, two tanker truck trips plus the pumper. Then they sent the pumper back out in the afternoon to finish off the smoldering bits - I had to hose down a tree on the backside that was a little too actively dropping burning bits on the ground after they left, but otherwise just watched it.

What a lot of stuff! Working up the asset list has been draining, I don't have a lot of photos of it before (when has it been organized enough to take a pic?), but walking back through it in my mind and the bent metal bits and bobs. Thankfully I wasn't just in the middle or wrapping up any big project (the built-in bookshelves had been finished a few weeks earlier), and we don't regularly park the cars in there. But anything bulky to store was out there, tents and tools and bikes and so many tools... it's just stuff. Sounds like insurance is going to do the best they can, so far.

County fire inspector was out the next day, insurance fire investigator came out today. "Not arson, probably electrical, started on this back wall that is least surviving where most of your tools and battery charger were." Raked the ashes looking for wires and battery remnants with them today, didn't find much of anything left to say.

A friend here lost their barn to lightning this summer, and another friend here just found out their in-town storage building burned down Wednesday. Double check your insurance and coverage folks, and just go ahead and do a photo walkthrough of your place, for me.

Ordered a rolloff dumpster just now to start cleaning it up.

< Flora and fauna
It's just stuff | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden)
Do you have email receipts for anything? by miker2 (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Nov 30, 2020 at 04:16:17 PM EST
When my brothers house burned down in 2018, I sent him a list of all the stuff I had gifted them and their kids over the years, which helped with the settlement as they were able to prove they had it.  Lowes and HD can also pull your purchase history by CC numbers for any tools you've purchased.

Sorry for your loss but glad everyone is safe.  House fires are increasingly rare these days but still terrify me after seeing what my brother went through. 

Take a video by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Nov 30, 2020 at 07:52:49 PM EST
I had a house fire many years ago, so learned what a huge pain it can be to list everything lost.  One thing that can help is to make a video of your house.  Spend an hour and make sure to capture everything you own.  Narrate to describe things that are less obvious.  If the worst happens, you can use this to remind yourself of all those random things you won't remember when staring at an insurance form.

It is otherwise real easy to forget and then a year later think "oh, wait, I had an $X, a $Y and a $Z!".  But then it's too late.

Also, when possible, get "replacement value" instead of "cash value" policies.  It greatly saves having to deal with figuring out how much you paid for everything.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
100% by LoppEar (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Nov 30, 2020 at 08:30:08 PM EST
If this wasn't just two rooms that I spend a lot of time in using what's on the shelves (and having precisely two good photos that happen to have been 3 years ago when I did hang a bunch of my tools up - not complete now, but good to justify "no, I really had at least 4 different vise grip pliers"...

Totally echo your advice, take a video walkthrough. Mark your calendar to do it again in a year or two. As ged said in side-channel, take a slow video walkthrough of your book, dvd, etc collection so you can read the spines.

I should probably go do that for the house.

[ Parent ]
yeah by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Dec 01, 2020 at 08:32:19 AM EST
when my parents' moving truck caught on fire (with all of their stuff in it), photos of their house listing were invaluable.  "this photo of the dining room proves we had X style of china (which replacement value at that point was $300/place setting), this photo of the garage proves we had 2 bicycles."

[ Parent ]
Those have been helpful for the lists by LoppEar (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Nov 30, 2020 at 08:19:52 PM EST
Been doublechecking my amazon history for various things, and was worried I would need to go to Lowes to pull receipts too. But (perhaps because it is a replacement value policy?) the insurance adjuster said no need for receipts (unless I'm claiming an inordinate amount of brand new stuff), until we get to replacing items for paying out any differences. Surprisingly civil!

And thankfully very little of what was out there was borrowed from anyone at this particular moment!

[ Parent ]
Aaargh by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Dec 01, 2020 at 06:40:17 AM EST
Hope you didn't lose too much... at least the house was OK.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
thanks by LoppEar (4.00 / 2) #11 Tue Dec 01, 2020 at 03:38:01 PM EST
Now comes a fun utility problem: turns out there are many things that have very little actual value, but that insurance will replace, and that I may not actually want to replace for lack of use. Two years to fret over those I think!

[ Parent ]
ugh by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Dec 01, 2020 at 08:38:08 AM EST
I'm sorry you're having to go through this.

Since everybody was safe, at the end of the day it just becomes a gigantic pain in the ass.

yes by LoppEar (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Dec 01, 2020 at 03:44:18 PM EST
I'm currently surprised at how forthcoming and proactive insurance is being (State Farm), but I'm also sure that will turn to frustrating as we get into details! Pain in the ptooey.

[ Parent ]
Wow, that sucks! by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Dec 01, 2020 at 09:15:01 AM EST
no life lost, at least.

Bloody hell by hulver (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Dec 01, 2020 at 11:29:04 AM EST
I'm glad you're all safe.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
thanks by LoppEar (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Dec 01, 2020 at 03:38:28 PM EST
Heavy 2020 vibes all over this land.

[ Parent ]
Wow that's awful! by clock (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Dec 01, 2020 at 12:55:33 PM EST
But I am so very glad you and yours are safe. You're right: it's just stuff. Mostly stuff that can be easily replaced. I don't envy you the paperwork and whatnot, but wow.

Yeah. Very glad your people are OK!

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

totally by LoppEar (4.00 / 2) #13 Tue Dec 01, 2020 at 03:42:15 PM EST
It's fine? Paperwork is stressing me (mostly because it's hard to turn off the "oh, just remembered that 10 year old frobulator, I paid good money for that, but haven't and probably won't use it again... but now it's on my mind to put in the spreadsheet! don't forget!"), but for the next week I can focus on physical cleanup to occupy the part of my mind that used to think "now what project should I work on in the shop" most days.

[ Parent ]
3 YO by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Dec 01, 2020 at 05:47:42 PM EST
3 YO sounds like a cool cucumber.

Glad everyone is safe.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Yikes! by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Dec 02, 2020 at 06:37:21 AM EST
Was the power glitch before or after the fire started? Either way, might want to get an electrician to take a look at the home wiring.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

I understand from reliable sources that... by atreides (2.00 / 0) #17 Mon Dec 07, 2020 at 10:15:09 PM EST don't need no water. Let the mother flipper burn.

Burn, mother flipper, burn.

He sails from world to world in a flying tomb, serving gods who eat hope.

It's just stuff | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden)