Recently Mammoth Restoration was called to assist with a home fire in Flagstaff that was started with woodstove coals. The coals were vacuumed up and the vacuum cleaner caught fire while sitting in the garage. The garage caught fire igniting the two cars inside the garage. As you can see the fire quickly spread to the rest of the home.
What To Do vs. What Not To Do
- Be Careful. A structure is full of hazards after a fire. Check with fire department to see whether the building is safe to enter. If so, use caution: the structure may not be safe as it looks.
- When inside, wear gloves and protective clothing. Soot spreads easily; avoid transferring it from one surface to another. Shut off HVAC systems. Central air heating systems can rapidly spread soot throughout a building. Contact a licensed HVAC contractor or have Mammoth recommend one.
- Beware of Fire Chasers! If someone approaches you in front of your home offering to help you, be suspicious. Some Public Adjusters and Contractors listen to fire department scanners and prey on property owners. Do your research and hire an honest company that has a good reputation.
- Notify the landlord or mortgage company. It's easy to forget this step, but it's an important one. They need to know what's going on with the building.
You SHOULD NOT...
- Try to clean carpets, upholstery, or furniture. These items are tough to clean, and improper cleaning can cause permanent staining and damage. The same goes for clothing. Any kind of normal washing can cause soot stains and smoke to become permanent - even dry cleaning.
- Try to repair or use appliances. If the appliance was anywhere near the fire, it needs to be examined by a trained technician before it is used. Even if it looks fine, internal damage might cause it to malfunction or even make it dangerous to use.
- Go into any damaged room. Fire can cause structural damage that might not be visible. The water used to put out the fire can cause hazards as well. Avoid going into any room near the fire if possible.