The homeowner identified her concerns with the spaces within her home and stated she was not happy with current layout. Her kitchen was too small, the dining room too cramped, lighting was just okay, the family room location and size kept her removed from interactions and out of site while working or doing anything in the kitchen, not really allowing her to be a part of most conversations, and the rear deck needed a complete overhaul. Our objective at Keith Trembley Builder / Paul Davis Restoration was to create a space where as soon as you stepped through the door everyone’s response would be the same, “WOW!” Once we had our final design we began the work. The homeowners needed to continue to live in their home while the remodeling was to take place. We began the project on July 7, 2008 and almost finished on September 26, 2008.
On Friday afternoon, September 26th, around 4:00 p.m. the painters had just finished the final coat of varnish on wood edge on counter and custom wood surround which covered support post, carpenters had finished picking up their tools left the site. The homeowner and project manager, Gary Proulx, were sitting near the fire place and looking across the wide open new family room and kitchen admiring the unbelievable changes, when Gary questioned what was making the fog/mist appearance at the other end of the room, he got up, walked across the room while discussing it could perhaps be paint/varnish fumes in the air being vaporized by the just lit fireplace when it became clear that it was smoke coming from the basement stairwell! Gary immediately went to the stairwell and started down when he heard a small explosion and then a hiss. He started down the stairs with the homeowner close behind when he could see the reflection of fire and the smoke becoming very dark. Gary spoke to the homeowner, grabbed her arm and said we need to get out of the building immediately! She grabbed the cordless house phone as they went outside and called 911 to report her home was on fire! Her brand new, not lived in yet, addition!
While they stood outside in utter disbelief they watched the house, in less than 3 minutes fill with thick smoke. Realizing there was going to be major damage here, Gary asked the homeowner who their insurance agent was and explained he would call the Keith Trembley Builder / Paul Davis Restoration office, let them know what was going on, and request that we contact the insurance on behalf of the homeowner and explain what was currently going on. At the same time, Gary asked our office to mobilize our emergency response personnel and start the ball rolling; we were going to need major help here. In less than 10 minutes the Fire Department was on site asking questions as to the layout of inside and where the fire was. The homeowner gave them a quick overview and in they went.
You just cannot imagine the emotional trauma and shock someone has when living something like this! This brand new, long awaited renovation was completely covered with thick black soot! From floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall, inside everything was blackened. What was so beautiful only 60 minutes ago, was now a disaster.
Come to find out the fire was started by a dehumidifier in their finished basement. For some unknown reason the compressor pump did not automatically shut off and kept running until it caught fire.
Randy Nason, manager of Keith Trembley Builder / Paul Davis Restoration, mitigation division, had already made arrangements to have the dry cleaning company on site to meet with the homeowner and remove all fabric materials from the home and begin the special process for smoke removal on everything. Randy had also rearranged schedules and had lined up a 4-6 person crew for this job site to begin the massive process of cleaning up. KTB/ PDR worked feverishly with the target date of Thanksgiving in mind, to have the homeowners moved back into their home for the Holidays. And yes, the family did celebrate Thanksgiving in their new space.
Out of a great tragedy was born a stunning new home.