Cleaning up after a fire

This past February, we had a major disaster at our home.  My 85 year old mother forgot to turn off a pot of turkey legs and then we left for church.  You can only imagine the smell and smoke!  I was so grateful we had a dog door because I’m sure the smoke would’ve killed our pets.  That and the smoke alarms shrieking had unnerved them big-time!  

So here I am, having been on dozens (literally) of fire disasters and cleaning up now after experiencing one of my own!  Right away we opened all the windows, turned on fans and got the pot off the stove!  The problem with burned meat, even if it doesn’t ignite, is that it gets over everything.  In the restoration business it’s called a “protein fire.”  The horrible smell is actually the meat molecules rotting on all surfaces it came in contact with; awful!  In cleaning up someone else’s fire you are of course, unattached emotionally.  With your own though, it’s another story.  My co-workers had to regularly remind me of the next step and the next step – I was fried!  Your life turns upside down.  

 The best thing I can recommend is getting someone in there who knows how to clean everything properly.  By “properly” I mean they clean in a way that your home has never been cleaned before.  Every surface, every item, every piece of clothing…they’ll even clean YOU if you sit there long enough! (just kidding!)  It has to be that way to get rid of the stickiness and odor.  But be prepared to have it take 2-3 weeks, depending on the size of the areas effected.

Another thing that helped too was to stick to a routine.  A disaster like a fire and the cleaning up of it assaults your senses and esp with elderly family, they are BEYOND upset with their routine out of sorts!  Try to keep to what’s “normal:”  if you have your work, school, worship, exercise schedules…all that can help you cope, at least it did me!

Have any of YOU ever had anything like that happen to you?  What can you suggest to help make things easier?

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