A home fire destroys more than dwelling

Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 12, 2014

A fire destroyed a home over the weekend leaving a family without a place to live.

An event such as this is can leave those affected in a precarious position.

The extent of damage is not limited to the physical structure. The psychological trauma suffered from such a loss can be even more devastating.

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Not only is their home damaged, but they lose all of their belongings in the blaze.

Firefighters work hard to save the home and what valuables they can, but when water is needed to extinguish a fire, things get wet and are ruined.

Water doesn’t just ruin electronics or furniture, it will damage personal identification files, such as birth certificates, social security cards and insurance papers.

In order to begin to rebuild their lives, they need to reapply with state and federal agencies to obtain copies of their identifying information, and contact their insurance agency to file a claim.

Then there is the daunting task of rebuilding their home. First they have to file a claim with their insurance company and wait for that process to be completed. After that, the family can decide whether to rebuild, or find a new home.

Homeowners may not be prepared for a fire. Essential tools include smoke detectors, and of course fire extinguishers. Also check with your insurance company to ensure you have enough insurance to cover the cost to rebuild your home. What your home is worth and what it costs to rebuild can be two very different figures.

Also, for the safety of the family, have an evacuation plan is established, hold a mock fire drill where everyone practices the evacuation route. Part of that plan should include a designated meeting point near the home, but far enough away to avoid injury from the flames.