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Old 07-19-2013, 09:36 PM   #1
Suicide
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House Fire = Smokey DVDs

Okay, so this past Tuesday around 7:30 PM my house (or my roommate's house, I should say) got struck by lightning. Everyone was home, me and his older daughter were watching TV, my roommate and his younger daughter were both upstairs. It was a pretty sudden storm and since it's rained literally 16 of the first 17 days this month we didn't think anything of it. The lightning came out of nowhere and hit the back of the house. The TV shot sparks out of it and the power went out. A couple minutes later we smell a little smoke, but we just think it's from the TV. Nope, a minute later the house is filling with smoke. We all run outside even though it's raining like an absolute motherfucker and still lightning like crazy. I run to the side of the house and see that it is literally ripped open with flames shooting out of the corner of the house. The lightning had struck the gas line, so there was just a steady stream of gas keeping the fire going. The only good thing is that it struck the outer side of the gas line so the gas was shooting out instead of into the house.

Everyone got out in plenty of time, but it took about 10 minutes after calling 911 before the fire was under control. The fire stayed pretty much contained to that one corner, but the firefighters had to rip out most of the ceiling to get into the attic, so the house is done, they need to basically tear it apart and rebuild the whole house. My roommate has good insurance, so we'll have a weird living situation for a few months, but everything will be pretty normal after that. I, on the other hand, am an idiot and I kept putting off insuring my stuff. It's almost like the fire knew this because it stopped before it got to my room, which was practically untouched. I think I'm out a really old desktop computer, a PS3, my Insignia Blu-ray player, and maybe a hard drive - and this was all water damage. All of my movies and everything are fine just a little smokey. So I've moved everything I own that was worth dragging with me into a storage unit.

The guy doing my roommate's cleaning told me I can rent a Ozone Generator and run it in the storage unit to remove the smoke smell. Has anyone used one of these before, is it safe for electronics and movies? There's no way the storage place will allow me to run a weird machine for a day inside one of the units, but when we get a temporary place to stay I plan on doing that unless anyone advises me against it. It's like $130-$150 to rent one of these things, but you can get a decent one (I only need it for a 10x15 area worth of stuff) on Amazon for $230, I might just do that.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:34 AM   #2
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wow, that's a hell of a story. glad everybody got out safe and its good news about the insurance. no idea about the ozone machine, but good luck.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:37 AM   #3
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Yeah, Suicide, aside from wondering what TV show you were watching with your roommate's daughter, I'm glad you are okay. And that your DVDs are safe. Bummer about the hassle.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:43 AM   #4
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Damn man, talk about freak luck. As long as everyone is ok, thats what matters. Material shit can be replaced. Hope everything turns out ok.
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:56 AM   #5
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Yeah, Suicide, aside from wondering what TV show you were watching with your roommate's daughter, I'm glad you are okay. And that your DVDs are safe. Bummer about the hassle.
Charlie Day was on Conan, I think my roommate's daughter has a crush on Charlie for some reason even though he looks and sounds like Bobcat Goldthwait's son. He was on his way to Conan's desk when it hit.

Yeah, of course I'm just happy we all got out way before there was any real danger. I'm also glad this didn't happen while we were asleep. Sure, the smoke detectors were going apeshit, but still, I've slept through full volume alarm clocks 8 inches away from my head.

I know the material possessions don't matter in this kind of situation, but I'm amazed and glad most of my stuff wasn't damaged. The MST sets alone would've cost a few thousand dollars to replace since half of them are out of print. It's dumb, but as a collector, every second that went by before the fire was out I thought of another out of print or irreplaceable movie or collectible.

I actually went to add renter's insurance to my car insurance about a month ago and I held off so I could go through my stuff and give some kind of rough estimate of how much coverage I need. I would've never stopped feeling like the world's biggest idiot if everything I owned got toasted.

Still need to figure out a smoke removal method, that thing on Amazon is either a 5 star or 1 star item, not much in between. I hate how unreliable reviews are for electronic devices on Amazon.
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:58 AM   #6
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That's a crazy story! I'm glad everyone's ok though and your collections survived too.

I've thought about what I would do if my place ever caught on fire. I'm sure a close call like that would really put things in a different perspective for me though.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:14 AM   #7
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Wow that is just crazy - glad you are all alright- but Id be pissed too at the bad luck- but important thing is noone got hurt
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:38 AM   #8
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Wow, glad you and everyone is safe and that the damage wasn't worse. I have no idea about the ozone machine but I know there are various tips online for getting smoke smells out of books - they might translate to DVDs or at least the artwork and inserts. Baking soda, dryer sheets, cedar chips, and charcoal are some suggestions. I've heard putting things in the freezer can help but that might be an urban myth. Good luck - report back if you have success and what worked for you.

If you go with the ozone machine, report back on how it works.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:50 PM   #9
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Sorry for your situation! I think the ozoner machine works like a dehumidifier and filters/processes the air as it runs.
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