Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fire #2 at The Fire House

We could call The Fire House 'The Fires House' because this project started and ended with two separate, unrelated fires. 

The Detached Garage
Before Fire #2 (and the Garage Door)
In the 1990's, a dryer fire in the laundry room quickly got out of control, ignited some charcoal lighter fluid stored in the attic over the den, and exploded into an intense house fire.  That disaster ultimately resulted in the four bedroom ranch being condemned by local building officials after it had been vacant for years.  I agreed to buy The Fire House in 1999 and closed on the property in 2000.   The renovation took twelve months. 

Fire #2 happened in 2002.  I was visiting family in the Midwest when I got the news.  This was just ten years ago, but times were a little different.  We didn't all have cell phones with numbers programmed into them like we do now.  A neighbor had to find someone who had a number for my family up North.  Eventually, after the message bounced between a few people, my parents heard the news, got a hold of me, and said, "One of your buildings burned down." That was all they knew, so that was the message I got.  Yikes!  At that time, I only owned three buildings; The Fire House , The Cottage, and The Detached Garage at The Fire House.  The Cottage was still being renovated, but TFH w/ it's DG were finished and this property was on the market to be sold.   

Before my thoughts raced too far ahead, I made some calls back to South Carolina and confirmed that the DG was the one lost.  I felt some relief since (of the three) it was the least significant and the easiest to replace.  When reality set in, I had seven hundred miles to drive and think about the loss of my garage (while I tried to do an accounting in my head of the things I had in the DG versus what was in the houses).  When I turned the corner to see my property, I was surprised by the extent of the fire.  I had expected to see some evidence of the original outbuilding, but it was gone.  It was a small black pile of charred remains.  There was hardly anything left.  It made me think of that scene from the movie Independence Day when the aliens obliterate The White House.  It was like those same space guys flew over my building and fired away.  Crazy. 

My detached garage was gone.   
The Detached Garage after the fire.

This is the grand old tree I lost.  It was struck by lightening during a storm in the middle of the night.  We believe that the strike and the metal roof on the DG sparked the fire.  I had trim and left over paint from The Fire House renovation stored in the DG and this likely helped the fire grow quickly.  The firemen thought the rain on the outside allowed for the fire to build and gain strength on the inside.  I had a lawnmower and some gas and wood stored inside and all this caught fire and burned up.   


  1. nice tips for controlling fire accidents, thank you for giving nice tips.

  2. I'm wondering if maybe that many fires in the same house is a sign of bad luck :0)