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Need advice - Bad fire damage

cosmos_275

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
5am got text from utility power was out yesterday. Apparently slept through security camera notifications, checked them, all black, 157 degrees. Called 911. Fire dept was already there. My unit is the one with the wind sock. My neighbor to the west's unit is partially collapsed. All the units west of that, 8 or so, are all leveled. Looks like the tar roof carried the fire down a ways. The actual fire stopped just at my units west wall, but extensive damage from melting roof, smoke and the fire department letting loose inside my unit. Just one plastic tub way up in a corner that got melted. 2x6 studs on the nearby west wall are partially burnt.

I got insurance on the horn promptly. My guy (Sentry) is very helpful. He's sending me a 10k advance without me asking for it. Landlord has a security gaurd posted.

Main machines are a Speedio S500x1 (6 years old) and a Doosan 2100A (2yo) lathe.

Speedio has lots of burnt tar/water residue all over. Inside lots of rust going on. Electrical cabinet has a good layer of soot, probably got in a 2.5" duct line where I was piping A/C (gets really hot here). Maybe was flooding then draining out the bottom of the cabinet. I'm not sure it will power up. Other concerns are the rust on the ways and not sure what else. Most of the back of the machine was somewhat covered under an interior ceiling, but FD was spraying all around as the coolant tank is overflowing.

Doosan looks ok. I peeked inside and I didn't see rust. I'm not sure how exposed the X ways are from above, so not sure about how damaged they are. I have not had a chance to open the electrical enclosures and see if water got in.

Insurance is sending an adjuster out late next week. By my understanding, any items that go on the "list" become their property and I have the option to buy them back at salvage price. Do you think these machine can recover easily from being hosed down extensively? I'm not supposed to mess with stuff, but I feel like climbing around and getting LPS where I can.

I'll somehow have to move all this stuff or could just opt for larger payout and let them have it. Not sure if riggers will go in there. If I opt to buy the equipment for salvage it's all or nothing, so I'll have to take the old crappy machines I regret buying in addition the mill and lathe if I think I can rehab them. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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First off, good to hear you have an agent willing to help.


In an unrelated industry ( automotive, mostly towing) insurance companies buy back is usually a lot higher than actual value at auction. So you might just want to wait for that to buy them back if you wish.

Secondly having had a fair amount of experience with burned out modern vehicles, after a fire it might still work for a short time but the mixture of chemicals in the fire department spray, and the acids resulting from water mixing with ash can create high corrosives dissolving metals at very fast rates.

I personally would initially be tempted to keep my own machines because I know them, but having experience with this kind of damage I would undoubtedly let them go and look for replacements.

good luck!
 
Hang on. Hydrant hook up. They add chemicals to that ?
Depends.

Out in the hinterlands, no.

If you're in a metro area, they might. If it goes thru the pumper, and they suspect nasty stuff, I think there's a good chance.

Sorry for the bad joo-joo.

Stiff upper lip and all that.
 
DO NOT document any losses to the insurance company in excess of your insurance coverage. All policies I am aware of have a clause requiring you to maintain a coverage level of at least 80% of replacement value. Otherwise you will get hit with a co-insurance penalty. It works like this. Say you have a $100,000 policy. You document (or the insurance company estimates) losses of $130,000, thinking they will help you out. Insurance company says you are only 77% insured. You are now a 23% co-insurer. So the check will be written for $77,000, as you are self insuring for the other 23%.
 
DO NOT document any losses to the insurance company in excess of your insurance coverage. All policies I am aware of have a clause requiring you to maintain a coverage level of at least 80% of replacement value. Otherwise you will get hit with a co-insurance penalty. It works like this. Say you have a $100,000 policy. You document (or the insurance company estimates) losses of $130,000, thinking they will help you out. Insurance company says you are only 77% insured. You are now a 23% co-insurer. So the check will be written for $77,000, as you are self insuring for the other 23%.

My dude explained this to me (yes, I'm 80% co-insured). I need to call him on monday for clarification. It seems like it just caps your payout. It does not decrease it if you go over, but to get replace cost, you have to buy all that overage to get it.

Yeah, the fire spread from the tar/gravel roof down quite a ways. Black crap on front of speedio is that residue and/or smoke residue.
 
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No, the fire itself is a nasty (and complex) chemical reaction. [Got sniped, that was an answer to bosmos_j about where the acid comes from]
True, very true, but even out here in the rural of rural, our fire department keeps chemicals loaded in the trucks and inject chemicals and foaming agents when desired. That's standard stuff at all fire departments now for decades. It used to seize the small pumps (and they are stainless of a sort) on one of the local trucks until it got a little wear. I had to free it for them a couple of times. Some federal agency supposedly handed it out free to any dept. that wanted it.
 
Saw the local FD put out a very small grass fire at a neighbor's place a couple of years ago. Due to drought, the ground was baked hard. They used water from a small (2"?) hose and what I swear was a squeeze bottle of dish washing detergent. I suppose the detergent was intended as a wetting/flow agent, so the water didn't just roll off the surface of the ground.
 
So, I think I can have things "omitted" from the list. Here's one, maybe 1/3 of my toolholders. I assume I'll get another Speedio or rehab this one. Pulled these out of the building. Not sure if they can be cleaned up and used again, thoughts?

I haven't oiled them yet. Maybe I should let them rust so I can buy them back even cheaper? wtf
 

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Wild fires are our most common fire type here, yes they add "surfactant" (soap) to pretty much every load of water even for grass fires. City departments occasionally add other additives also to increase smothering of the flame. ( Diaper gel beads, and foaming agents are extremely common)
 
My shop burned down in 96 and I hauled it away with a scoop shovel and a wheelbarrow. IF kosher salvage anything you can and don't declare it. I still have a bunch of things that made it, including a 6" Kurt I use all the time. The machines, all manual, were toast but my lathe bits, drills, vise, and some other stuff were still fine, just cosmetically blemished. Get everything you want to keep cleaned up and oiled. Take the collets out and cleand and oil them to, don't skimp on it. Take the vises apart and do the same.

READ YOUR POLICY SEVERAL TIMES UNTIL YOU KNOW IT BY HART. I didn't know it as well as I should have and answered some questions wrong that the adjuster asked, which cost me a little $$$$.
 
A little white vinegar goes a long way towards dealing with rust.

A few years ago, all of my dad's tools got wet from a water leak.

24" Gerstner full of Starrett tools and other self made stuff. Sat in the basement for a while and rusted to hell.

Posted a help me post here and the white vinegar trick came up, and worked great.

I use the tap wrenches and pin vises every day, along with lots of other doo-dads he made.

The vinegar is worth a try.
 
Some departments may put a wetting agent into their tank water, I don't know of any around here. The most popular additive is "a" triple f...Aqueous film forming foam. Commonly used on flammable liquid fires, car fires, and rarely on other fires. It's pretty much banned now due to the pfas in it. It's been replaced by "green" foam which depending on what you get can work well or suck ass. These can be injected through an on board ejector system or external system.

Engines and trucks fed from hydrants or tenders will not have any additional chemicals in them other than what's in the water. Foam can be added of course. In the case of tender fed water operations the supplied water can be from a main system, hydrant, or drafting operation, out of a lake or river.

In today's world of products from combustion dangerous chemicals are in the smoke...things like phosgene, sulfur dioxide, dioxins, and combinations of acidic materials. Back when everything was made from natural materials there were far less toxins in the smoke. Now, the smoke will kill you in minutes or less. Even the residue from fires has been found to be carcinogenic.

And to think, 65%-70% of firefighters in America still do it free of charge...and don't get me started on new building construction!!
 
Sorry to hear wow... if it were me I would walk away take ins money and focus on getting going asap.

If by chance you can buy the Brother mill for cheap then do it.
 








 
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