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Thread: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

  1. #1
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    Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    I recently lost my home to a fire. When the fire dept ultimately cleared the home I tried to salvage what I could. Lost a bunch of mounted pictures to the fire itself. The part of the home not destroyed by fire was covered in smoke, water and fire retardant foam. I saved my laptop but MY HP Z3200 was destroyed by ash and smoke damage despite acover in place. My IMAC and MacPro were covered in soot and excessive heat. I cleaned the IMAC and it works for now. My external hard drives are filthy but seem to work. My photo gear in the basement were destroyed by water, foam and heat and gone, so no more leica and zeiss glass as well as my lighting gear and remaining darkroom equipment. My sony A7R was exposed to heat and soot but still worked because it was further from the fire itself. I purchased 2 new 4TB external drives and a dock to dump all my videos and images while my old drives are still intact. I plan on making 2 separate 4Tb drives. As if this was not bad enough my insurance company tell me that i only have $3K of coverage for the $18K of computer equipment so i screwed as far as the computers. My question is what to do with the cameras and lens that survived the fire but show damage. I assume that they will eventually fail or developed fatal problems. Should i insist on them being a total loss and refusing the insurance company's attempt to clean them? Is there any expert information that I can submit to the insurance company to prove that fire and soot exposed equipment can not be cleaned?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    Horrible news! I hope nobody was hurt in the fire and wish you best of luck in sorting everything out with your insurance company to minimize your financial lost. Heart wrenching indeed.
    Phil

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    Re: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    What a terrible blow. I wish you all the strength, faith and courage to overcome this ordeal.
    Bart ...

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    Re: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    No one was hurt, my son was home but ran out, tried to save the cat but was overcome by smoke. After 3 hours of heat, smoke, freezing temps and dousing the house with water and foam our cat was found alive and is doing well in a medical boarding facility. Our 3 dogs were with me and my wife. 25 years of hard work, planning and saving went up in smoke. Lost some of my canvases, a mounted pics but I have the files. My computers, printers and mounting press are gone, the smoke, water and heat just cooked everything. Amazing hour your life can crash in an instant. I hate the thought of rebuilding at 64 years of age.

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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    So sorry to hear all of this. I cannot answer your question regarding the gear, but you might call KEH Camera Brokers and ask to speak to someone in their repair department regarding the gear and possible life expectancy after going through the fire. Here is their customer number: 1-800-342-5534.

    May peace be with you and your family, and I am very happy for your pets.

    Kind regards,
    Darr
    Website: photoscapes.com
    Photo Blog: darrlene.com

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    Sorry to hear of the loss of the house but relieved to hear that nobody was hurt.

    I fear this same situation at home and would be very interested to hear how your gear situation gets resolved.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    The World is a book, and those that do not travel read only one page ...

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    Re: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    Thanks for the kind words. I am going to call KEH monday and see what they think. Personally, I think any electronics exposed to excessive heat and smoke will prematurely wear and or fail.

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    Re: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    Glad nobody was harmed! Bear in mind that everything else is just stuff and can ultimately be replaced

    Curious, by the pic it appears the car is totaled as well -- did it catch as a result of the house burning, or was it the car burning that touched off the house; what caused the fire?

    Most insurance policies have set limits for certain classes of personal property, and computers, guns and cameras are frequently limited. Most policies also have a "repair or replace at their option" clause too, but convention is you as the insured need to be made whole. This means that a repaired item needs to be returned to the same condition it was in before the loss; and just getting it back to the same appearance OR functional state is not enough, it has to appear AND function as it did prior to the loss.

    Good luck and best wishes in this stressful time!
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    fire started in the garage. two cars were destroyed along with the house. Guns were not damage but most ammo was ruined. I only had my A7R with 3 lenses so that should be covered but was under insured for computers. A rodent chewed wires in the wall and started the whole thing. I hired a private adjuster to deal with the insurance company and already its paid off as the insurance company was trying to suggest the home could be repaired, but it at best a rebuild. I am going to send my camera, lenses and flash to KEH for a written report as to the damage so that i can get them replaced. Bigger problem is the 18 months to get things sorted out and back to normal, at age 64 the really sucks. Breaks my heart to view the damage to everything i worked for, amassed and planned for the past 25 years burn to the ground, but no people or pets or even first responders were hurt and my neighbors were very helpful. Hard to start from scratch at 64 years of age.

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    Re: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    Felix,

    I just came across this thread moments ago. I am at a loss of words in both expressing both my heartfelt sympathy for what you and your family has endured and for what you will have to go through in rebuilding what you lost. At our age it's not only about materialistic loses, but overcoming the traumatic events that cause such an upheaval in our lives and the time consuming task of putting all the pieces back together. It's been said before, but thankfully no one in your family was injured , not the pets nor first responders, and that alone should give pause for thought and much thankfulness that it wasn't worse. Hopefully through it all, We all hope you begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and that within a reasonable period of time (which of course will be lengthy), the rebuilding process will begin and life will begin to return to a degree of normalcy accompanied by all the pleasures you enjoy and look forward to. Wish you well!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member f6cvalkyrie's Avatar
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    Re: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    OMG, I feel so sorry for your loss, Felix ... good that nobody got injured ...

    As for your question about the insurance : don't give in to the first proposals of the insurance company. All they do is try and minimize their expenses ... Push them, threaten them ... and eventually you will get better compensation for your loss ...
    Talking from the experience of a "water incident" in my house ... after 2 months of negotiations, I finally agreed to a compensation that was twice the amount they originally proposed ....

    Good luck to you !
    Rafael
    P1 645DF with P30+/E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/

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    Re: Fire Damaged Cameras, Computer and Printers, what to do

    Thanks all for the moral support. Getting used to living in a hotel with 3 very active big dogs. We try and go to the house every day to let the dogs play in their familiar surroundings, the walks in the woods with the dogs feels so normal.

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