Saturday, September 15, 2007

Early Morning Wake Up Call

Friday morning I was woken up at 4:00 AM by my cell phone. It was the emergency maintenance answering service at work. The lady said there was a fire in the laundry room and I needed to get there ASAP. The laundry is attached to my office, so my mind immediately started racing. How serious was it? Did it get to the rental office? How will I ever get back the information in the resident files? I am due exactly one month from today (Friday) and I just wanted to get things caught up before I leave, now this happens!

I arrived at 4:30 AM and there were fire trucks everywhere with lights flashing. I thought Zack would absolutely love this! They already had the fire out, except for an occasional squirt from the hose. The fire was reported at 3:15 AM. I am so happy someone was awake and reported it before it got to the entire building.

The laundry room is a total loss. There is smoke and water damage and roof repairs needed in the clubhouse and rental office. The water damage was on the floor, so my files and paperwork were all saved, except for the bottom files on a couple of piles that I had stacked up on the floor that I had been working on. I was so relieved because it is a low income propery and there is a lot that needs verified to determine rent. I don't know how HUD would make me handle recreating files and luckily I won't have to find out.

Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera with me when I left the house, so I didn't get any shots of the firemen in action. I tried with my camera phone, but it was too dark. I had Ryan bring my camera after he and Zack got up and moving.

Picture of the laundry room with no roof. The wall on left side of the picture has no support and will probably have to be taken down.

some of the mess inside the laundry- I needed a wide angle lens.

The source of the fire - the electrical breaker box.

gable above the electrical box

water mixed with drywall, insullation and who knows what else in the clubhouse. It was a nasty mess.

When the fire inspectors released the building to us at about 7:00 AM. I started making my calls to the hire ups. We had no electricity or phone, so my cell phone got a lot of use and the battery was dead in no time. Ryan had to make a second trip for the charger. We ran an extension cord from a rearby building to get my computer, copier and other things working. I had to setup in the maintenance garage and it was a beautiful day to work outside, about 70 degrees.

At about 9:00 the fire restoration company arrived and they did some amazing work. While we were all standing around in shock they took charge, got the windows boarded up, marked the walls that will need re drywalled, put blue tarp on the roof, took what files did get wet to have them dried out. They removed the couches and chairs in the clubhouse due to smoke and water damage and ripped up the carpet in the rental office.

We were standing around talking and all of a sudden the ceiling collapsed in the clubhouse due to the water and the row of lights came crashing down, luckily no one was standing close by. It scared the hell out of us though.

They will start on Monday morning turning a two bedroom vacant apartment into my temporary rental office. We have to move due to roof damage and then there will be noise while they are rebuilding the rest of the building. Tuesday they are supposed to move all the office equipment over and hopefully I'll be in business again. They said it will be at least 90-days, so hopefully I will come back from maternity leave with a newly decorated office. I am a little sad that I probably won't have any input in the decorating though. I will also be getting new desks due to swelling from the water, but we'll use what we have until the office is redone.

I put in a long 12 1/2 hour day and was completely wiped when I got home. I smelled like a campfire that hadn't showered and I'm sure Addison didn't appreciate the smoke and who knows what else I was inhaling all day. Back to the fun on Monday!


Jaidean said...

wow - sounds like a crazy and hectic day!! Hope you were able to rest and relax this weekend!!!

Janice said...

Oh my gosh, Jami, that is nuts!!! I'm glad no one was hurt because those pictures looked kinda scary! Hope everything works out before your delivery.

Jennifer said...

WOW, that is crazy! Glad no one got hurt when the roof came crashing down. That just sounded scary!