On Thursday, December 1, 2011, I was playing pool with my brother at his house.  While we were having a bite to eat, he got a call from my daughter on his cell phone.  My brother had an unreadable face as he handed me the phone.  My daughter said, "Dad, the house is on fire."  She wasn't at the house, but got the information second or third hand.  Was anyone in the house?  Was anyone hurt?  She didn't know.  We sat, my brother and I, waiting for an update as my daughter went to the house.  She called back shortly saying no one was hurt, but the house was bad.  How bad?  Here is a picture of the microwave and breadmaker in the dining room:


The south west roof:

We are all safe and healthy, but we lost most of our possessions, either to fire, smoke or water damage.  After various fire inspectors went through the house, an electrical short was blamed, perhaps setting a couch smoldering for several hours before the fire really took off.  The insurance will cover our losses and let us rebuild, but there are many months of work ahead.

What about all my solar panels?  Four were completely pulverized, melted, bent or otherwise unrecognizable.  Three were partially destroyed.  The others are intact and hopefully working, though the company warranty is void.

We removed the panels from the house.  I set up a temporary scaffold to make removal easier:

View from the roof:

We saved what we could.  My studio got quite hot:

The only guitar I could save was my travel electric which I had kept on the wall in the living room.  Here it is after I cleaned it up a bit:

Wheels seemed to turn slowly, but we got power to the garage on December 29.  The electric company took the power wires off the house...

extended them about 30 feet and attached them to the garage:

This will facilitate the rebuilding of the house.

Demolition took place on Friday, January 20, 2012.  The excavator was merciless.  See it in action:


At the end of the day, the front steps lead to nowhere:

I had asked the demolition crew to try not to run over the little red maple in the front yard.  One of the guys draped it with yellow caution tape.  They finished without harming it.  That's some good tape!

The next day, they cleaned out most of the debris in the basement:

Next: basement repair.