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House Fire- a Cautionary Tale!

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ted hughes31/07/2016 23:56:15
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466 forum posts

Will never happen to me.

We moved a couple of months ago, lots of work settling in etc.

There was a battery smoke alarm wrongly placed half way up the stairs, gave it no thought, didn't even check if it had a battery.

We were storing stuff to redo the bathroom and kitchen in the conservatory.

The morning the fitter was due to arrive to start on the bathroom, at 5am,my wife shook me awake, the alarm had started bleeping.

At 5.30am I was standing in the road in my nightwear with 4 fire engines and a St John's ambulance giving coffee.

Both our mobiles were low on battery and the Wi-Fi modem had gone with the fire.

At 9 am, from my car, I phoned the company I believed I was insured with, to ask about making a claim, to be told my insurance had lapsed the previous year!

The firemen were great, they rescued documents they thought would be useful, including my charred wallet, so I could get money.

We had lost everything, what the fire hadn't claimed the smoke did.

While I was in the bank checking if my half-melted cash card was still acceptable, the insurance company rang and said they had located my account (I'm a rate tart) and I was covered.

The next few days: estimated £100k rebuild,£50k contents,£25k living expenses.

We were given hotel accommodation immediately, including restaurant meal credits. Which we were mighty glad to accept.

The company is Churchill, part of the Direct Line group. They really have been helpful, I highly recommend them.

The point of this post is:

It may happen to you (I thought it wouldn't)

Check your fire alarms

Check you are insured

 

 

 

 

Edited By ted hughes on 31/07/2016 23:58:07

Edited By ted hughes on 01/08/2016 00:00:53

cymaz01/08/2016 06:27:31
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8577 forum posts
1160 photos

Sorry to hear of your horrid situation.

A good idea is to check your smoke alarms when you change the clocks. It's twice a year and has to be done.

Cuban801/08/2016 07:32:07
2638 forum posts
12 photos

And also never be tempted to skimp on home insurance cover or save a few quid by going without it altogether - you'd be surprised how many people don't bother to insure their homes.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator01/08/2016 09:11:22
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15748 forum posts
1460 photos
Really sorry to hear about that Ted. It must have been a dreadful experience. But of course the most important thing is that you and your wife are OK. Afterall possessions are replacable, loved ones are not!
Good advice on the home insurance and alarms too.
BEB

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 01/08/2016 09:12:01

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 01/08/2016 09:12:40

The Wright Stuff01/08/2016 09:20:14
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1383 forum posts
226 photos

Thanks for posting Ted. It's my absolute worst nightmare.

I'll agree with BEB about your lives being the most important thing, and I sincerely hope that everything gets sorted out as smoothly, quickly and painlessly as possible. The inconvenience, worry and time can be just as important as the monetary cost, so it's great that your insurance company appears to be making your life as easy as can be expected!

Best wishes!

kc01/08/2016 11:12:52
5954 forum posts
168 photos

Terrible! Full marks to St Johns for being there too - at 5.30 am.

But what was the suspected cause and was it caused by anything used for aeromodelling?

Bob Cotsford01/08/2016 12:47:03
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7923 forum posts
436 photos

Sorry to hear this Ted, I hope you can get past this without too much more trauma.

Phil 901/08/2016 13:07:12
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4281 forum posts
222 photos

any idea of the cause?

Shaunie01/08/2016 13:48:18
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943 forum posts
78 photos

Sorry to hear this Ted.

It's something I live in fear of. Possessions can be replaced it items of sentimental value that hurt the most when they are lost.

Still, at least you'll get a full redecorate laugh. So glad the alarm worked otherwise you may well not have survived. Good to know you are both ok.

Like others I would like to know the cause, please let us know in due course.

Shaunie.

Old Geezer01/08/2016 14:36:47
603 forum posts

Been there too Ted, end of the 60s in Devon.

Thursday before Good Friday, called back home for a cuppa before evening clinic, to find the road outside the house blocked by 2 fire engines, and as I walked up to the front door was greeted by a fireman emerging from the house! A drip feed paraffin stove had apparently exploded - thank God Diana and our son were out when it happened. Local CU man called round that night - got the owner of the Tiverton baby things and pram shop to open specially for us on Good Friday morning ( never been known before in Tiv' in those days - Chapel elders probably would have been all a-twitter! ) to replace everything in the nursery for our 8 month old son. Credit arrangements at big store in Exeter so we could replace furniture and soft furnishings ( new for old ) - CU also sorted out tradesmen to do the repairs and decorating - throughout the house. So - scrimp and save if you have to - but don't save money on insurance ( and that includes pet health insurance ), it's too late after the event. If you're not insured, when it's gone, it's gone.

Tim Flyer01/08/2016 15:55:32
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1008 forum posts
169 photos

Good post Ted . I hope all works out for you and you. It sounds a horrible trauma to have. I would second comments on using decent and well known insurance companies. We use NFU mutual which were also fantastic when we needed them a few years ago. The Cheap discount insurance companies are not worth using as they can be very difficult when you need them . Some of those treat all claims as suspicious which is awful when you have suffered a loss.

ted hughes01/08/2016 17:21:38
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466 forum posts

The cause was electrical, probably my PC, probably the PSU.

Rich too01/08/2016 20:20:14
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2937 forum posts
1049 photos

Wow, that's terrible, and great that you're ok. Electrical? It's scarey how much we leave on standby throughout the house, although we do tend to turn off laptops these days..

I hope you get it all sorted quickly.

The real Ron Truth01/08/2016 20:55:17
193 forum posts
9 photos

Sorry to hear about the fire. At least no one was hurt.

Some years ago, i bought a fire box for important docs that we can grab and go if a fire comes. i also went a bit mad on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms . my dad would be proud!

In the garage, i fitted a fire extinguisher and a smoke alarm and got the fright of my life at some ungodly hour when it went off about a month ago. My neighbours thought it wise to have a crafty fag in her adjacent garage at night despite me advising her that my garage is like a time bomb of batteries and stuff.

ted hughes01/08/2016 23:57:05
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466 forum posts

Thanks to everyone who responded to this thread.

To be quite honest, as we escaped without injury, and have no dependent children living at home, it has been quite an interesting adventure so far.

The worst part was having no internet-it was maddening.

We were maxing our phones and constantly looking for usb chargerers.

Rosco02/08/2016 03:55:52
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448 forum posts
386 photos
Ted, I'm glad to hear it is working itself out despite the unfortunate incident that started it all.

I've no intention of hijacking your thread Ted but I was following it in its earlier stages and felt the need to mention something......

As a firefighter myself, one message that we try to convey to the public which is just as important as having a working smoke alarm is to have a 'home fire escape plan'.

As obvious as it sounds, you would be surprised at how many people cannot or have difficulty finding a way out of their very own house during a fire, especially if it is in its more developed stages. Hence the reason for having a smoke alarm to alert you before its too late, therefore having an escape plan is just as important as having a working alarm.

Did you know that you do not have a sense of smell whilst sleeping?

Rosco

Alan Pennington02/08/2016 07:43:40
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174 forum posts
46 photos

Hello Ted,

Glad to here all turned out well with your insurance. Here in France you can not sign for your house and have the keys at the solicitors with out proof of house insurance.

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