The fire was devastating. Physically and emotionally. Carefully crafted linen cabinets and built in bookcases were burned, hand laid parquet floors scorched and hand painted ceilings ruined by water.What was not destroyed by the flames was wet and smelled of smoke. The Orland P. Bassett house will need to be stripped down to the bare studs.
Long before we became involved (6 months) David Post of EIS Group, INC started the fire abatement process.
First, a temporary structure and roof (note blue tarp) was put over the the home.Commercial dehumidifiers and filters were run 24/7 to reduce mold formation. and remove the water from the structure.
This was a big job, and the care that went into this process will have a big effect on the success of the historical restoration. Furniture, doors, built in cabinetry, columns, archways, windows, door hardware, hardwood flooring, etc… were all documented, carefully labeled and stored. Some items were salvaged for cleaning and reuse, some for documentation for future historic reconstruction. David was careful and resourceful to make sure that the salvageable contents were delivered to hardware re-finishers, furniture restorers , millworkers, etc…
Once all of the contents were removed, photographed and documented , David began the demolition of the remaining infrastructure, including wood lath and plaster, flooring, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, windows, trim and doors, and hundreds of thousands of nails, etc..
Now if you’re like me, you may be thinking this seems a little extreme. This floor, for example seems like it just needs to be refinished. Why does it need to be completely dismantled and removed? All those plaster walls, why do they have to be destroyed? Two words: smoke and mold. While the fire may not have spread throughout the whole house, smoke managed to creep into every little nook and cranny of this historic home. Every inch of plaster, every piece of wood has that lingering smell of smoke. And unless you are camping, nobody wants that.
The other issue is mold. A lot of water was used to put out this fire. A lot of care needs to go into mold abatement to prevent future issues. So all salvageable pieces were removed and dismantled and will be stripped, cleaned, refinished and then reassembled back into the home as the restoration progresses.
The existing roof was removed down to the 3rd floor deck and covered with a rubber membrane to prevent further moisture penetration.
Once the house was completely demolished down to the bare studs, the remaining charred wood was removed. Mold, soot, and the smell of smoke were removed and sealed through iceblasting, encapsulation and a coat of Kilz on every joist , stud, subfloor and wall sheathing.
When David Post and his crews were finished, it’s now time for Dave Knecht Homes to start the historic renovation process.