Stressful Week – The Fire Department and House Fire

The Fire Department and Controlled-Burn House FireThe past week was one of the most stressful weeks that I’ve had in a long time and it all stated with the sale of the house across the street. It went downhill after that. Here’s the story.

For the past 7 years the house across the street was up for sale. The previous owner went into a nursing facility and the son took it over. He didn’t want the state getting any of the money to use towards her medical costs, so he drug his feet for 7 years on selling it. He finally sold it 6 weeks ago and for a LOT less than what he wanted. I’m happy about that because he was asking outrageous amounts for the property, only to hold up any type of sale. Yeah, some people scam the system.

The Fire Department and Controlled-Burn House Fire

Anyway, A few months ago he had the property changed from residential to residential/commercial. He then dropped the price (big time) and sold the property to a hotel/motel corporation. Yeah, we’re not happy about something like that being built in the middle of our neighborhood and certainly right across the street.

To get away with NOT having to pay outrageous property demolition costs, they decided to donate the house to our local fire department. It was an older home with detached garage, but was extremely well-kept. It wasn’t the type of house that should of been destroyed. Anyway, the fire department decided to use it as a training class for firemen and scheduled it for a “controlled” burn.

Last week we had a ton of fire department personnel and township officials out here prepping it for the burn. A lot of noise, traffic and congestion. We’re not used to all of that type of action going on in the neighborhood. I didn’t appreciate having our street blocked off at times because of it.

The Fire Department and Controlled-Burn House Fire

Saturday finally arrived and at 6:00 AM all of the fire trucks (6 of them), various fire emergency vehicles, an EMS ambulance unit and over 25+ firemen arrived. They started their “control burn” about 8 AM in the morning. It was really sad to see the house being destroyed, especially when it was unnecessary and should of been sold as residential. Ugh.

The “controlled burn” lasted all day long and let me tell you…I wasn’t happy. I was completely and utterly stressed out!!! The smoke and stenchy smoke smell rolled right into our home. All day long our eyes watered & burn, our noses ran and well, it was extremely unpleasant. The first day was the worst! We kept our windows and doors shut and still…that smoky crap rolled right in. OMG….I was extremely angry!

As each day has passed the stench has gotten a little better. We went out and bought some spray products to help remove the smell and deodorize our home. It still smells, but not as badly. Now…hubby and I are both dealing with sinus infections and I swear it was set off by that damn house fire across the street (excuse my language).

The Fire Department and Controlled-Burn House Fire

I’m glad the ordeal is over…but now we’re left with trying to get the stench out of our home! I think when homes are sitting this close together, “controlled burns” should be avoided and if they can’t avoid it…someone (not us) should have to pay to have our home cleaned and deodorized as this is NOT fun to deal with. Doing this type of thing out in the country is one thing…doing it in the middle of a crowded neighborhood is another.

One thing is for sure…we will be selling our home and getting out of here within 2 years. We’re NOT going to live with a multi-story hotel/motel going up right across the street from us and turning our neighborhood into a commercialized area. Totally sucks, but we discussed it and will be selling/moving out of here with the next 2 years.

Anyway, the past week has been extremely stressful. Within this blog post you’ll find a few photographs that we snapped throughout the day.

Piece of Advice: If this ever occurs near your home…plan ahead. Make sure someone (ahead of time) is going to PAY to have your home deodorized and cleaned if it should need it afterwards. In hindsight, I should of gotten more information and had someone on the hook if this type of stenchy smell occurred. I also suggest that you vacate your home for a few days, especially if you have any type of health or breathing problems and get them to pay for it.

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  1. Wow, I can’t believe they would do that in a residential neighborhood!

  2. Oh no this is so awfully sad and disturbing. I would not of thought it possible to change zoning in a neighborhood from residential to commercial without considering the neighborhood and people living there. Can you go to city council meetings and have your voices heard to hopefully change things although it seems that with the house being burned down much damage has already been done to the neighborhood. Sad to see these things happen.

  3. Susan Hartman says:

    I am so sorry. I can’t believe that they can change a neighborhood to commercial just like that. And to do away with the house in that manner sucks. I know that the odors sure do linger. My Dad used to clean the insides of houses damaged by fires. Do your neighbors feel the same? Maybe you can start a group action to be compensated. I wish you luck.

    • Everyone here is irked off by this. However, since our house sits directly across the street from the burned house…we got the majority of the stench. The houses here are fairly close together. Even though we live across the street, I can literally stand on my front porch and have a conversation with someone standing on their’s. The wind for most of the day blew that stenchy smoke directly on us for about 8 hours.

  4. P.S.S. I have been thinking about your situation ever since I read your post. We are so not sue-happy people but sometimes it is good to know your rights as they differ in each state. I am worried that this hotel/motel will jack with the resale value of your home and just wish that there was something that you could do as this was out of your control and just doesn’t seem right. Thinking of you and wish I could help.

    • Thanks Heather. All of the neighbors in our development are quite pissed off about this. We knew the home & property was for sale but NONE of us ever guessed that it would go for commercial use. Why would a hotel/motel want to build in the middle of our neighborhood? We all look at it as a sign of pushing us out (only 11 houses left in our neighborhood) and we feel they’re trying to push us all out and turn the entire neighborhood into commercial. Frustrating.

  5. What a shame…with so many people working hard and trying to achieve “the American Dream” of home ownership, it is sad that the house went to a company ..especially when it is in a neighborhood. I totally understand your anger (and I am sure other neighbors’ anger, as well) . Thank you for sharing this post and bringing attention to the after effects of a burn.

    • None of us in the neighborhood are happy about this. At the very least, the township should of notified us all that the home owner was applying to have that home re-zoned from a residential property to a residential/commercial property. None of us want some hotel/motel in the middle of our neighborhood. None of us were notified. All of a sudden we saw SOLD signs go up and within 2 weeks we got letters on our door’s telling us about the controlled fire, when it would occur, etc.

  6. Peggy Nunn says:

    I am so sorry this happened to you. I understand that they need training but that was so unnecessary. There are many condemned buildings they could practice on. I hope you feel better soon.

  7. That has been a stressful time for you. Hope you got out and celebrated Valentine’s Day with a good meal (without smoke).

  8. I am super surprised they let the son ‘hold’ it for that long unless his Mom could totally pay for her nursing home care. In our state, we have to dispose of assets (if no spouse) within a set amount of time or it is charged against them and you pay a huge out of pocket charge. Its a pity he did that and a pity he got it changed o residential/commercial (must have been the new owner that actually did it) Can you fight the rezoning? Here you can if there is no other commercial around. Pity too it had to burn and that is odd the FD trained in a residential with homes so close. I hope you get all aired out.

    • Actually it was the OLD OWNER who had the property re-zoned because he knew he could get more for it being re-zoned to include commercial use. Some people in this world get away with everything when it comes to scamming the system!

  9. I hope you called the Fire Department and complained about the smoke and smell. Have you been able to get the smoke out of your house?
    Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy your evening and hopefully this week will be calmer than last.

  10. Oh, how dreadful! I can’t imagine the stress you’ve been suffering. I hope that events unfold in such a way that you don’t have to leave your home and gardens, but no matter what, you and your family will find a solution that’s right for you. Hang in there!

  11. Whoops meant to type… To have your Home Cleaned. I was so mad I made a type-o. P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day please have a nice bottle of wine tonight you guys need it.

  12. This is so depressing on so many levels! One, that house was perfectly fine and should not have been burned down the Fire Department should only do that for abandoned houses that are unsafe to live in. Two, I can not even believe they are going to build a hotel/motel across the street from you guys that totally sucks! Three, I am so bummed out that you guys have to move because of all of this I know you have done so much work on your house and I think it is really nice and you just put in your pool. This whole thing pisses me off. I would send your story above to the local newspaper and I would also Sprint out and the door this week and speak to a lawyer there are many that will give you a free consultation regarding this matter. The Fire Department and/or property owner should have to pay to have your come cleaned. I am so very sorry that you are going through all of this crap.

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