Smoke damage from fire

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Brett Siler
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Smoke damage from fire

Post by Brett Siler » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:19 pm

So yesterday the building connected to mine caught fire. It was huge and my place completely filled with smoke for about 3 hours. It was so thick I couldn't see or breath as I tried to run in and save more poor cat with in the first 5 min or so of the fire starting.
Right now my place is condemned until it gets further inspected on Monday. I don't think there was any fire damage but obviously the place was filled with smoke and from the little I know I don't think electronics or microphones like smoke... I had about 5 out of 20 something mics I own out on stands the rest with in a drawer. Anyone have any experience with this? Is everything just going to be fucked? Any steps I can take to save my computer, interface, microphones? I'm hoping for the best but bracing for the worst... This new place was perfect.. I just moved in this month.. I think I'm going to puke..

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Post by vvv » Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:40 pm

Shite, nothin' to add but my best wishes.

If you have insurance, notify 'em, ASAP.

Otherwise, get the burnt-one's info and notify them/their carrier, start yer documentation, if necessary.
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Brett Siler
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Post by Brett Siler » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:29 pm

Thanks man. Aaand of course I didn't have renters insurance set up yet. I was only there for 20 days... I kept meaning too. Lesson learned.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:21 pm

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/smoke ... 20675.html

That should help.

Also, you need to clean the entire surfaces of walls ceiling and floor, along with any furniture, very well.

There are other resources online with tips on how to do that sort of cleaning.

Do wear protective clothing, and it the smell iss very bad, also a filter mask so you
don't breathe in the noxious stuff.

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Post by floid » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:49 am

There are probably businesses in your area that specialize in fire/flood cleanup, they usually contract through insurance companies. Beyond basic cleanup they'll often seal the space and treat it with ozone for 24-72 hours to neutralize the smell.
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Post by JWL » Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:47 pm

Damn man. That sucks. So sorry to hear.

I wonder if the insurance company of the place that had the fire will cover your peripheral damage from their fire? Might be worth looking in to.

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Post by Brett Siler » Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:48 pm

What about stuff like ribbon mics or condensers? I didn't have Neumanns of Royers but I didnt have chinese garbage either. I've invested a lot. Its hard to say but it's been over a decade of saving from low paying jobs and investing back in. I never got a loan or anything like that, just hard work (not that Im glorifying doing it that way, just the path I took).

Thank you for the replies so far.

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Post by Brett Siler » Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:48 pm

What about stuff like ribbon mics or condensers? I didn't have Neumanns of Royers but I didnt have chinese garbage either. I've invested a lot. Its hard to say but it's been over a decade of saving from low paying jobs and investing back in. I never got a loan or anything like that, just hard work (not that Im glorifying doing it that way, just the path I took).

Thank you for the replies so far.

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Post by vvv » Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:10 am

If you can establish that the fire-starting property owner/tenant had some liability in how the fire started (get the police and/or fire dept. report(s)), you can sue.

If there is, for example, small business or homeowner's insurance on that property, you might get them to pay.

To do that, you must prove your damages.

Besides receipts and pictures (before and after) and catalogs, Ebay entries may help - "print" to *.pdf and save, then actually print out. 2-3 examples of price would help. Do that, ASAP, if you might go forward.
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Post by Drone » Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:00 am

It may not be so bad for the electronics, take a look in them, do they seem to have been coated?

Don't turn them on to check them, visually inspect them, if the circuit boards are coated clean them off with isopropyl and a brush, get some tuner cleaner for any pots and faders.

Dunno about the microphones, similar might apply, but you'd have to be very careful around the motor and diaphragm.

I once worked on some parametric EQ's that had been in someone's trunk when their car rolled into a pond, and sat there for a few days. Apart from replacing the connectors just in case there was a little staining on the chassis but the rest of it was alive and well.
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:29 pm

Someone on here (TOMB) did a write up, years ago, about restoring vintage electronics after flood damage. They seemed to have a very thorough and gentle system that restored most of their gear. It involved soaking PCB's in distilled water and alcohol, etc. IIRC. I can't find it even after half an hour of googling.

I just wanna say be careful what you come into contact with in your building now. Maybe get some asbestos and lead kits to see what's what. They use(d?) lots of toxic shit in buildings and a lot of it gets even toxicker when you burn it. You only get one set of lungs, eyes, etc. And one shot at never getting cancer.
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Post by Brett Siler » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:28 pm

vvv I and a few other business owners that were affected by the fire are most definitely looking into it. As far as printing receipts... I'll look at my ebay history or amazon. Some of the stuff is pretty old and proof of purchase is long gone. Or stuff I did trades or bought in cash from Craigslist.. Hopefully they don't need receipts for everything...

Drone, thanks for the advice. I'm going to crack open my desktop computer, interfaces, spray in 91% Isopropyl alcohole and Deoxit and brush it out.

Snarl I think I know what you are talking about. When the hurrican hit the New York and New Jersey. I remember Joel Hamilton and others taking things apart and pouring water into them to get sludge out and crazy shit like that.
Also thank you for the concern. That makes sense. This building was built in 1888! It probably has been filled with led and asbestos... Ugh this sucks..

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Post by Brett Siler » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:18 pm

Hey not trying to spam at all, but a friend of mine set up a GoFundMe page for me. He kinda just randomly set the amount. It's may cover the damage don't or it' may not even scratch the surface (you guys know first hand how much this shit costs). We are unsure of the totally extent of the damage done. My place has been condemned up until the other day. I'm trying to salvage as much as I can. The places connected to my building is getting demolished Wednesday and the landlord said theres a good chance out place may go down with it so I have two days to get anything out that I can. This has been a total nightmare.
If anyone can donate it would be very much appreciated. If not I totally understand, times are tough for everyone. Or if this is inappropriate to put here please let me know and I apologize in advance. I have learned so much from this forum and really appreciate this community.
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Post by analogika » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:58 am

Hey, I didn't see this earlier, but I'm afraid you're going to have assume that EVERYTHING that wasn't in an airtight case is complete toast, beyond any repair.

I had a similar case in my rehearsal space/storage last summer. The fire was one story down, and the smoke completely and irreparably destroyed EVERYTHING - several Hammonds, a Rhodes, a half-dozen Leslies, a D6 clavinet, a couple of synths, effects, mics, amps, mixers, drums. There was no fire on our floor.

The background:

Smoke is particles on the one hand, but these can be wiped off. The real issue is smoke GAS ? the hot air is saturated to almost 100% ? not with water, but with ACID. Chloric acid, sulfuric acid, whatever the burnt material happens to have divulged. And this hot air gets EVERYWHERE regular air goes: Into casings, vents, grills, into pots and onto circuit boards, underneath SMD chips and into sockets. Literally everywhere.

And as it cools down over days, it condenses out liquid ? but not water; pure ACID. Onto circuit boards, rubber parts, chrome, everywhere.

My clavinet was covered up, but not airtight. The hammer tips had completely dissolved into popcorn-looking spludges of green muck by the time I saw them, hanging over completely oxydised puffy brown strings. (Heartbreaking.)
The top of one of the Hammond generators (in a CLOSED Hammond) was lined with those rows of capacitors next to little piles of red powder. Those had been the copper coils used to filter the tones in conjunction with the caps. (Heartbreaking x2.)

I have pics of this crap, taken for the insurance. Devastating.

What isn't completely cleaned up within about 24 hours is utterly toast. And usually, it takes a lot longer than that for the air to cool down to non-lethal temperatures.

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Post by Brett Siler » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:37 am

Oh god... :cry: That makes me want to barf... I'm really sorry that happened to you. I'm slowly going through and seeing what works and what doesn't. It's fucking sad...

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