The roof, the roof… well it was on fire.

So Thursday, November 6th my parents house decided it was too cool for school. It caught fire sometime before 3:30 in the afternoon, a neighbor called 911 and then my parents. Another neighbor (perhaps the same one) kicked in the back door and was greeted with super heated smoke. At this point there was already fire licking its way out of the roof in areas with smoke billowing from the eves. It is through this door that we believe a dog and perhaps a cat escaped. Sometime later when the firemen showed up and broke more windows and kicked in more doors 1 or 2 other cats escaped; another cat was rescued from inside. The last cat was unaccounted for until late that evening when making a pass through the house. All animals survived unharmed.

When I arrived the fire was out and the firemen were surveying for hotspots and unstable sections of house, as well as looking for the culprit. It wasn’t long before they found a charred fuse box on the exterior of the house servicing the AC unit; this little box had indeed started the fire. As far as my parents know, the box has never been messed with since the house was built by the previous owner years and years ago. An electrical lug appears to have been loose which caused arcing, over time this arching heated up the wire enough for the insulation to catch fire. This lead the fire into the wall and up into the attic where it quickly spread across the whole house.

These first pictures were taken by me shortly after my arrival on the scene at 5:30 or so. Most of the firemen are packing up at this point.

This second group of pictures was taken the next day.

Again, all animals and people were unharmed and OK. My parents do have insurance, and at current time it seems like all will be covered and it is unlikely that it will cost my parents anything out of pocket. My parents are currently staying in a rented camping trailer in their driveway while things are getting sorted out. At the time of this writing they are still in talks with the insurance company to find out if the house is a total loss or worth rebuilding. I will update as information becomes available.

My parents would like to thank the many neighbors, friends and family who have stepped forward throughout this ordeal with help and comfort.

Feel free to leave a comment; thanks for reading.

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Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 at 1:46 am in category blog

3 Responses to “The roof, the roof… well it was on fire.”

  1. ChrisF Says:

    It’s good that nobody was hurt; fires are pretty destructive as it is. I hope you guys can recover most of your stuff!

  2. Brandon Says:

    Interesting, maintenance on a house is must, but its hard to catch little things such as a loose lug nut, to bad it started near the attic thats the easiest way for a fire to spread.

    Does this house have fire blocks in the walls? Id assume it was too high up and would have passed the fire blocks already. Sometimes though Electricians like to drill holes through fire blocks to service wires through them, and this causes fire blocks to be ineffective.

    Good thing your neighbor took the initiative to kick the door down whether or not they were trying to save your pets, they did. They definately deserve some thanks.

  3. chris Says:

    Yea, the house was maintained; so when i said no one had messed with the AC since the house was built was probably an overstatement. That being said, that disconnect box had not been accessed since my parents moved in (2 years ago).

    There were no fire blocks in the house, though they wouldn’t have helped much as 99% of the fire was in the attic.

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