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House fires suck

mtnhunter22

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Minuteman
Jan 20, 2020
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Before I share some photos, I am not making this post in an effort to get any donations or gear. We are well taken care of, no injuries, and I am hoping insurance will pull through on a lot of this stuff. And maybe someone has experience with this that can offer any advice on how to handle insurance.

We had a house fire Tuesday late afternoon. Started in the garage (they think just a spontaneous combustion of some sort). My wife had gone out to run some errands so it was just me, my two kids (4&3), and two dogs at home. I had been outside all afternoon, but had gone inside for about 10 minutes with my little girl came in and told me there was a fire in the garage. I had no idea where my little boy was so I took a couple trips through the garage and through the house trying to find him. Luckily, I was able to find him in the back bedroom, but by the time I got back to the fire, it was too big to contain with a hose.

The entire garage burned including two cars and a rzr. All my reloading set up and shooting gear was in the garage. Luckily, my safe was in a back bedroom. The entire house will probably be a loss as most of the trusses burned and the rest is soaking in water and smokey.

Anyway just thought I’d share some pics from the carnage as I’ve spent the last two days sifting through the garage with a rake.

- RCBS rock chucker that was my dads
- SAC barrel vise that I had just purchased over Christmas time. Super surprised at how well this held up to the heat. But I can’t find all the bushings
- The remains of my shooting bag. Had a bunch of mags but all I could find were these two and an Area 419 brake
- a couple dies. RCBS matchmaster that hadn’t been used yet and a Redding seating die
- the head to a leofoto tripod is also just purchased
- viper barrel vise
- lasts two are what’s left of my rzr and 4 runner

Damn grateful that we were all safe. All this stuff can be replaced but lives can’t.
 

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A good friend of mine had a similar occurrence. FD said it was the spontaneous combustion of some solvents he had in the garage. Burned his whole garage and part of his kitchen down. Horrific but no one was home so no injuries.

Insurance covered it fully, so other than a massive inconvenience, it turned out OK.
 
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Damn mtmhunter, I'm sorry to see this. I've had a house flood, but never burn. Like you said, every one is safe, that's the main thing.

Did it start near a GFCI receptacle? The reason I asked is, I had a GFCI Receptacle just spontaneously combust one day. Luckily, I was home, and it was on the back porch, not in the garage. The wife and I are sitting watching TV, and heard this awful electrical sound. Turned to look out the window, and flames and plasma are shooting out of the receptacle about a foot. Nothing was plugged into it, it never tripped the breaker, and it didn't burn the wires, it just burned up the receptacle. To this day I have no idea what caused it.
 
Damn mtmhunter, I'm sorry to see this. I've had a house flood, but never burn. Like you said, every one is safe, that's the main thing.

Did it start near a GFCI receptacle? The reason I asked is, I had a GFCI Receptacle just spontaneously combust one day. Luckily, I was home, and it was on the back porch, not in the garage. The wife and I are sitting watching TV, and heard this awful electrical sound. Turned to look out the window, and flames and plasma are shooting out of the receptacle about a foot. Nothing was plugged into it, it never tripped the breaker, and it didn't burn the wires, it just burned up the receptacle. To this day I have no idea what caused it.
It was kind of close yes. The GFCI was just on the outside wall of the side door to the garage. The trash can where they think it started was about 5 feet away, but would have been on the inside.

I looked at the fire a couple times but honestly it all happens so fast that your brain isn’t comprehending much. All I remember is looking down and seeing a fire burning on the ground. Was also next to an air compressor. It had burned through the air hose so air was blowing on it I believe, making it worse.
 
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glad you focused on the right things.....the other stuff can be replaced.

whenever i deal with any oils, solvents, or such, i NEVER store them inside. i usually though them in a box or can and place them outside until i can get them dispose of them. i dont want to deal with any spontaneous combustion shit.
 
Watch your insurance company like a hawk they will try to fuck you hard. Make an itemized list /spreadsheet of EVERYTHING with prices and submit. I had the opposite the house burned and the garage was fine. Had to fight the insurance on everything.
 
I'm glad to hear that you and the kids were safe.

I'm sorry you are going to have to start the year with dealing with all this stuff.
 
That sucks big time but at least all your family members are ok. I know every insurance companies are different on how they handle these claims so be viligant through the whole process. I hope I never have to go thru it.
 
I'm glad to hear you are okay.

Thanks for posting pics and your experience. I have some old cans of solvent in my garage that I should probably get rid of.
 
Before I share some photos, I am not making this post in an effort to get any donations or gear. We are well taken care of, no injuries, and I am hoping insurance will pull through on a lot of this stuff. And maybe someone has experience with this that can offer any advice on how to handle insurance.

We had a house fire Tuesday late afternoon. Started in the garage (they think just a spontaneous combustion of some sort). My wife had gone out to run some errands so it was just me, my two kids (4&3), and two dogs at home. I had been outside all afternoon, but had gone inside for about 10 minutes with my little girl came in and told me there was a fire in the garage. I had no idea where my little boy was so I took a couple trips through the garage and through the house trying to find him. Luckily, I was able to find him in the back bedroom, but by the time I got back to the fire, it was too big to contain with a hose.

The entire garage burned including two cars and a rzr. All my reloading set up and shooting gear was in the garage. Luckily, my safe was in a back bedroom. The entire house will probably be a loss as most of the trusses burned and the rest is soaking in water and smokey.

Anyway just thought I’d share some pics from the carnage as I’ve spent the last two days sifting through the garage with a rake.

- RCBS rock chucker that was my dads
- SAC barrel vise that I had just purchased over Christmas time. Super surprised at how well this held up to the heat. But I can’t find all the bushings
- The remains of my shooting bag. Had a bunch of mags but all I could find were these two and an Area 419 brake
- a couple dies. RCBS matchmaster that hadn’t been used yet and a Redding seating die
- the head to a leofoto tripod is also just purchased
- viper barrel vise
- lasts two are what’s left of my rzr and 4 runner

Damn grateful that we were all safe. All this stuff can be replaced but lives can’t.
It's been a couple years but someone else here had a fire that fucked up their home. He could likly give you some pointers.
 
Watch your insurance company like a hawk they will try to fuck you hard. Make an itemized list /spreadsheet of EVERYTHING with prices and submit. I had the opposite the house burned and the garage was fine. Had to fight the insurance on everything.

Sorry to see this @mtnhunter22. I worked on a burned out home when I was a carpenter/builder. Damn awful mess.

Like lm2bent, spreadsheets have saved my butt a couple times with my own personal insurance claims…..
 
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IRS Publication 547 on Casualty losses may be something you want to read.

Here is their page discussing this as well, I don't know if we have a rule here stating you can't link to Gov, but take it down if so.



It may not be something you ultimately use, but nonetheless, if you need it, you'll welcome the info.
 
I heard you should walk through the house video taping calling out all expensive stuff. Store it in safe deposit box.
 
Watch your insurance company like a hawk they will try to fuck you hard. Make an itemized list /spreadsheet of EVERYTHING with prices and submit. I had the opposite the house burned and the garage was fine. Had to fight the insurance on everything.
^^^^^ THIS !!! I had a house fire in 2010. My insurance company started playing that game - so, I was " OK, MF - you want to play that game - I'll play". Unfortunately for them, I'm OCD about organization - my son and I literally counted EVERY piece of brass , bullets, primers, powder, reloading gear, etc., etc., etc. Told them that although there may appear to be duplicate items ( i.e. different brands of .223 brass, etc ) , they were all different - and - if they would like to schedule an inspection and item count to please contact me and I would arrange a time for them to count them. I used MSRP for the pricing - and - surprisingly enough - they wrote a check for every bit of it ( including the house renovation and furniture damage ). My insurance agent ( a family friend ) was NO help in dealing with them - I guess I found out whose side his bread was buttered on.
 
As if the fire is not enough, wait until insurance plays their games.

Sorry to hear buddy!

I go through the home every two years and just video all my shit because of my fear of this. I have serial numbers on all tools, guns, and equipment. Too much shit to recall if I dont.

Im like a bad shit magnent, so Im always making sure I do what I can in case of this type of thing.

Ask lots of questions with insurance, but speak very little. Not sure and cant recall, but will call you back should be your goto response with insurance.
 
Damn mtmhunter, I'm sorry to see this. I've had a house flood, but never burn. Like you said, every one is safe, that's the main thing.

Did it start near a GFCI receptacle? The reason I asked is, I had a GFCI Receptacle just spontaneously combust one day. Luckily, I was home, and it was on the back porch, not in the garage. The wife and I are sitting watching TV, and heard this awful electrical sound. Turned to look out the window, and flames and plasma are shooting out of the receptacle about a foot. Nothing was plugged into it, it never tripped the breaker, and it didn't burn the wires, it just burned up the receptacle. To this day I have no idea what caused it.
I've seen many GFCIs give much trouble. One similar to your experience. Enough so that I have replaced every one of mine with standard receptacles. IMO they're all POSs and I'm no longer interested in hearing all the "But, but...muh safety" BS.
 
Before I share some photos, I am not making this post in an effort to get any donations or gear. We are well taken care of, no injuries, and I am hoping insurance will pull through on a lot of this stuff. And maybe someone has experience with this that can offer any advice on how to handle insurance.

We had a house fire Tuesday late afternoon. Started in the garage (they think just a spontaneous combustion of some sort). My wife had gone out to run some errands so it was just me, my two kids (4&3), and two dogs at home. I had been outside all afternoon, but had gone inside for about 10 minutes with my little girl came in and told me there was a fire in the garage. I had no idea where my little boy was so I took a couple trips through the garage and through the house trying to find him. Luckily, I was able to find him in the back bedroom, but by the time I got back to the fire, it was too big to contain with a hose.

The entire garage burned including two cars and a rzr. All my reloading set up and shooting gear was in the garage. Luckily, my safe was in a back bedroom. The entire house will probably be a loss as most of the trusses burned and the rest is soaking in water and smokey.

Anyway just thought I’d share some pics from the carnage as I’ve spent the last two days sifting through the garage with a rake.

- RCBS rock chucker that was my dads
- SAC barrel vise that I had just purchased over Christmas time. Super surprised at how well this held up to the heat. But I can’t find all the bushings
- The remains of my shooting bag. Had a bunch of mags but all I could find were these two and an Area 419 brake
- a couple dies. RCBS matchmaster that hadn’t been used yet and a Redding seating die
- the head to a leofoto tripod is also just purchased
- viper barrel vise
- lasts two are what’s left of my rzr and 4 runner

Damn grateful that we were all safe. All this stuff can be replaced but lives can’t.
Prayers for you and family. It's a real emotional roller coaster for everybody involved.
 
Before I share some photos, I am not making this post in an effort to get any donations or gear. We are well taken care of, no injuries, and I am hoping insurance will pull through on a lot of this stuff. And maybe someone has experience with this that can offer any advice on how to handle insurance.

We had a house fire Tuesday late afternoon. Started in the garage (they think just a spontaneous combustion of some sort). My wife had gone out to run some errands so it was just me, my two kids (4&3), and two dogs at home. I had been outside all afternoon, but had gone inside for about 10 minutes with my little girl came in and told me there was a fire in the garage. I had no idea where my little boy was so I took a couple trips through the garage and through the house trying to find him. Luckily, I was able to find him in the back bedroom, but by the time I got back to the fire, it was too big to contain with a hose.

The entire garage burned including two cars and a rzr. All my reloading set up and shooting gear was in the garage. Luckily, my safe was in a back bedroom. The entire house will probably be a loss as most of the trusses burned and the rest is soaking in water and smokey.

Anyway just thought I’d share some pics from the carnage as I’ve spent the last two days sifting through the garage with a rake.

- RCBS rock chucker that was my dads
- SAC barrel vise that I had just purchased over Christmas time. Super surprised at how well this held up to the heat. But I can’t find all the bushings
- The remains of my shooting bag. Had a bunch of mags but all I could find were these two and an Area 419 brake
- a couple dies. RCBS matchmaster that hadn’t been used yet and a Redding seating die
- the head to a leofoto tripod is also just purchased
- viper barrel vise
- lasts two are what’s left of my rzr and 4 runner

Damn grateful that we were all safe. All this stuff can be replaced but lives can’t.
Dang brother. Glad all your family is safe. And prayers that the insurance will fully redeem your stuff!
 
Been down the fire path myself but it was a barn/gun shop and the loss was quite extensive. I see a lot of burnt properties now that they come in and knock down the remnants within a few days. I would fight that until you have pictures of absolutely everything and it has all been removed and placed somewhere that it can be stored until everything is settled. Do not listen to anyone that says it’s ok to throw your stuff away until you are paid for what you are owed. I was fortunate to have full replacement value insurance but still maxed out our policy on all aspects. Like others have said every piece of property has to be counted for, you can’t just say I had 4,000 rounds of ammunition, you need to be specific and say “I had 421 rounds of hornady match 6.5 creedmoor.” If your adjusters have a heart they will nudge some of your high value items to the higher end to make up for the little stuff that they won’t be able to cover. Don’t openly suggest that you had any combustibles that could have been prevented, my fire started under the hood of a truck that hadn’t been driven in 3 days. Your razr could have just as easily started the fire as anything else, more than likely the fire marshall will mark it as an electrical fire as it’s a standard go to. Best of luck to you and just keep track of everything and keep your spirits up that it was all purchased once and you will get the opportunity to do it again. Sorry for your situation tonight.
 
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Damn mtmhunter, I'm sorry to see this. I've had a house flood, but never burn. Like you said, every one is safe, that's the main thing.

Did it start near a GFCI receptacle? The reason I asked is, I had a GFCI Receptacle just spontaneously combust one day. Luckily, I was home, and it was on the back porch, not in the garage. The wife and I are sitting watching TV, and heard this awful electrical sound. Turned to look out the window, and flames and plasma are shooting out of the receptacle about a foot. Nothing was plugged into it, it never tripped the breaker, and it didn't burn the wires, it just burned up the receptacle. To this day I have no idea what caused it.
Thats pretty scary. I was wondering about different things causing fires. I can think of about 2 or 3 house fires in the last 30 years around here. Now in the last month we have had 3.
 
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glad you focused on the right things.....the other stuff can be replaced.

whenever i deal with any oils, solvents, or such, i NEVER store them inside. i usually though them in a box or can and place them outside until i can get them dispose of them. i dont want to deal with any spontaneous combustion shit.
-Hang towels on a rack to dry
-Use an oily waste can
-Put oily rags in a bucket filled with water and dawn

Just some things a person can do minimize the risk of burning their house down with oily or solvent soak rags.
 
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I’m sorry for your loss, in Jan 2020 I was there myself. I sent a DM with contact information.

Remember that your family and your mental health is very important. My kids were young and this was a big deal on their little plates. You will get through this!

I had total replacement and feel like I was made whole by the insurance company. That was a 2 year total process. It’s hard to inventory your life based on memories. Up front monies was fast to come and getting into a hotel 1st night and rental by the 2nd day, money for a new home was 90-120 days the inventory of the house is where the time was spent.

Your family is all that matters and everything else is just stuff. Lots of sentimental items but at the end of the day family first.

Insurance acts like it their job not to pay policy - it’s your job to ensure that they do!

If I can assist my contact info is in a DM I sent.
 
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