Friday, April 25, 2008

Day After Fire

Me, Bob, and all 4 cats moved into a hotel last night. It wasn't great but it was better than staying in our smokified apartment. Who knows what horrible things we were breathing in after the fire had been put out?

I have to say that State Farm Insurance really rocks my world. I called my agent and got the name and number of the company they work with to clean up after such things. I called that number and a guy was at our place within a half an hour. He spit some numbers out at us that frankly shocked us. We told him we would confer with our insurance company and get back to him. There were many calls back and forth and finally our insurance company said we were covered and OK to go. Nearly right away a woman brought a giant Heppa filter thing to our apartment to clean the air. Soon after that, a woman from a relocation company said she was calling because State Farm had called her and she had a cat friendly, handicapped accessible hotel room available for us. It would be direct billed and all we had to do was sign a form and check in. I packed us all up and we checked in. The hotel was all ready for us. Turns out many of our neighbors are also here.

We didn't have a great night. We weren't breathing blackened, smoke filled air, but the cats were freaked out and kept crying. One of them in particular would just howl and howl which would get the other cats all worked up. Eventually, I locked the howler monkey in the bathroom and everyone else settled down. Bob slept badly due to not being in his own bed and having many aches and pains. I slept badly because he slept badly.

This morning we got up and headed over to the apartment. We were met there by the clothing restoration guys and the cleaner guy. The clothing restoration guys took 2 piles of emergency clothes and bedding which will be returned to us tomorrow. Then they bagged every item considered clothing, shoes, belts, purses, bags, linens, etc and took it for cleaning. All that stuff will be returned to us in three weeks. It will be freshly cleaned and pressed and ready to put away or use.

The cleaner guy took measurements and notes and wrote up an estimate for our insurance company. They will be back on Monday to professionally clean every item in our apartment. They will clean the cabinets, walls, floors, windows, blinds, and ceilings as well. It's a sad way to get a thorough spring cleaning.

We will probably be in the hotel through Tuesday at least but maybe as long as next Friday.

I have to say that the air in our apartment was 100 times better today than it was when we left yesterday. That Heppa filter thing is the bomb. The air in the apartment complex is still acrid with smoke. It stings my eyes, nose, and throat. There were work crews everywhere cleaning, painting, hauling, etc. If any neighbors were around, they were just there to get stuff and clear out or, like us, meet with people to help get things cleaned up. Maybe not so surprisingly, we've met more of our neighbors in the past 2 days than in the nearly 6 years we've lived there.

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