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Monday, November 05, 2007


And this is what’s left of my dad’s house. And the house next door. The house to the right caught fire first; fortunately Dad woke up before the fire spread over to his place. He was able to get out with his car, the checkbook, and the clothes he was wearing. The woman next door wasn’t so lucky; she got as far as the deck and that’s where they found her — I would guess she collapsed from smoke inhalation before she could get down the stairs and away. The fire investigators say they probably won’t ever figure out exactly what started the fire but ruled out arson.

Dad, is hoping the insurance company will hold off starting the replacement house until mid-March or so… building a house in Michigan, in winter, isn’t the brightest idea I’ve ever heard of anyway. Climate change may make it possible for people to think about building through the winter, but it still snows. But that hassle will come when it does, or not. Right now, I can rejoice that Dad's OK.


  1. Wow, total devastation. I'm glad to hear that your dad is allright. He'll be with you for the time being, right?

  2. Morning FAR.

    I'm with Boran, I'm glad your Dad is allright. The biggest thing is he is OK and he has family that cares and that are there for him.

    You said he's hoping they'll hold off until mid-March. Doesn't he have some say in when they would rebuild his house?

  3. Oh FAR ... hugs to your dad and your family. Echoing b2 and FM here, but so glad your dad made it out safely.

  4. Ditto, far. Too scary.

  5. Oh, FAR --

    I'm so glad your father woke up in time. I don't think I've never known anyone to have such a close call.

    (as I typed that, I remembered that I once saw a house explode and burn to the ground. But it was in the morning and no one was home in the house)

    Please give him an extra-big hug from me when you can.

  6. Hey guys.

    Boran, he's staying with my brother, who lives about an hour away (as opposed to a day & a half in my case). The insurance company is going to put him up in a local apartment near the house — he's retired, but he still has stuff to do and it would be a lot of hassle driving from the other end of Grand Rapids (where my bro lives). I'm hoping he'll stay a little while longer when he comes through for his snowbird trip.

    FM, the insurance company is motivated by two things, I think: one, they're paying for his lodging (including his month in Florida that he'd planned to pay for) until the new house is ready to occupy; two, with the housing market in the tank, builders are ready to come in with low low bids. It's really one thing, money, but there it is. He'll probably work out a compromise with them… small-town ties often *do* transcend money.

    Olivia, Beth, KB, thanks. I'm sure he wouldn't mind all these women lining up to hug him. :-D —KB, you saw a house explode??? Wow. What's the story there? Good thing nobody was home.

  7. Yes, I did - I was about 10 years old so I didn't realize what a unique experience it was.

    I'll share it in detail some other time, though. I'll be leaving for the dentist in a few minutes and won't be online most of the day.

  8. Good luck, kb - argh!

  9. argh, indeed! Thanks Beth! I'm hoping this is the last of my root canal / dental issues for a while.

    By-the-way, If I post at E4T today, it'll be later. I don't have much to contribute for goals.... :)

  10. Solar:

    Hey bro, the insurance company won't have any say on when his house is built. Once they settle for a amount on his house, persoanl belongings, and lodging, they'll cut him a check and wave bye bye. Dad can get plans drawn up for a new home and line up a contractor,get the site cleaned up, get plans approved by the city/county, finds a contractor, and lines up materials, etc. It will be March before any ground is broken.

    He could always take the fast track and have a modular home built on the site. In some cases they're better built than site built homes.

  11. Solar, you are so right about that. In some real ways, the double-wide we lived in was built better than FAR Manor.

  12. Holy cow! Sorry to hear the bad news about the house and the neighbor, but I am glad your dad's safe and sound.

  13. Whoa, eh, Far? I'm sure happy to hear your Dad made it...Bet he's pretty distraught right about now, especially about the neighbor lady...How sad.

    I'm with anonymous, that will likely be the proceedure. Good thing the investigators ruled out arson...

    It's shocking and very sad to here reports on the news of people loosing their homes to fires, that do not have insurance. Many more that don't, than do, around here where I live anyway.

    At least your Dad's away from the situation and over at your brother's, for now. He has alot to sort out... My thoughts will be with him..

    Sincerely, yooper


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