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- Nathan Weds
- Justin Weds
- Kaydi Weds
Brazil Trip 2009
World Trades
Feet and Toes
Video Index
Phoenix 2012
Sherri NY 2014
Brazil Trip 2015
Kelsey NY 2015

~ 2018 next year
~ 2019 soon enough
~  2020 Hope we are still around
~ 2021 Can't think about it

Our Apartment was destroyed by fire just 2 days after we returned from Brazil

The Fire was on July 23, 2009.  These photos were taken on August 2, 2009, the days after we started cleanup

FirePhotos (32 images) Click a picture to see a larger view.

[ Back to the 2009 index ] [ Back to Photo Index ] [ Back to 2010s Decade Index ]
[ see the 2011 restored apartment photos ]

Fire melted air conditioner and heater Boarded up windows and burned furnitue Burned chair and boarded windows Boarded windows without curtains Fired damaged pictures and walls Smoke damaged wall in the living room Computer damaged by the fire Fire damaged living room furniture The bookcase was tar coated Ceiling with bookcase and dining area corner Storage boxes and cleaning supplies Helton's sisters in the fire damaged apartment Kitchen after 4 days of cleaning Smoke tarred bedroom walls Bedroom windows were broken out by the fire department Our music was saved by digitizing it before the computers were damaged Smoke damage inside drawers and inside computers Damage in the second bathroom closet Religious icons survived the fire Smoke damaged computer hard drives Smoke damage in the first bedroom closet The shower was still smoked damaged after we cleaned it for 3 days The bathroom and shower were cleaned up first Smoke damage in the bathroom hall Bathroom to bedroom closet damaged Hall smoke damage Closeted cloths were damaged and sooted Enterior closet wall is tarred Soot covered the inside of the closets Soot prints on the wass Living room fire damage Cleaning supplies on the dining table

We had already been cleaning for 10 days when these photos were taken

Dennis, Helton with Sherri and Gary had a wonderful vacation in Brazil in early July.  Dennis, Gary, and Sherri returned to New York and Wisconsin on July 21st. Helton had planned to stay in Brazil until early August.  Hundreds of photographs were taken in Brazil and Dennis spent the next two days cataloging and backing them up

On the 23rd, Dennis went out for dinner early in the evening.  He returned to the neighborhood at about 11 pm.  He met Jamie, a building porter, on the street just before he entered the building and was told the apartment had been destroyed.  Dennis did not witness the drama of the fire

The fire was apparently started by an electrical shortage in a rotating tower fan. Every room was severely damaged and unlivable.

The fire was intense and all consuming for those living on the 10th floor.  Smoke damaged the entire hallway and other apartments.

The fire department broke out the windows and had to knock down several apartment doors to check for residents.  Several residents panicked and left their apartments looking for exits.  They were blinded by smoke in the hallways.  Firemen carried them down the stairs.  Two went to hospitals suffering from smoke inhalation.

Neighbors tell of flames shooting out the windows and hook and latters extending from street level to the 10th floor

The American Red Cross provide emergency housing for Dennis for 2 days and $50 cash for both Helton and Dennis. Thank you.

Dennis called Helton in Brazil but Helton didn't believe the damage was severe.  He planned to stay longer.  Sherri, Dennis' sister, called him and told him to get his butt back to New York.  She payed for the changed ticket costs.  Thank you.

 Helton returned from Brazil on the 26th of July to help with the clean up.  Helton tells of seeing the boarded up windows from the air as his plane made its landing approach to La Guardia airport

Dennis and Helton moved in with their friend Olga until other housing could be found.  We stayed with Olga for 3 months.  Thanks Olga

Elmhurst Towers management and staff were marvelous helping us get back on our feet and back into our apartment.  Three months later they provided month to month alternate housing on the 5th floor. The staff gave us space in the basement community room as a place to store everything that was recovered.  We moved everything back into the restored apartment on the 10th floor fourteen months later

Cleaning up personal belongings cost us over $6,000 in cleaning supplies and people that helped.  We worked for a month cleaning. We washed all the soot and tar covered clothes, most items several times.  We dry cleaned everything as needed.  Those costs alone were over $1,000

Our  costs do not include anything we had to replace, i.e., furniture, clothes, accessories etc.  We had no personal rental insurance - we were unemployed and it is a cost we canceled, just 6 months earlier.  The 10th floor and apartment restoration costs were handled by the apartment building's insurance

We permanently lost our original vinyl album collection to water damage. The hundreds of albums were from the 1960s, 1970's, and 1980's.  The collection was worth thousands of dollars (we had previously digitized all of them on our computer, saving us the music replacement costs)

Thank you to our friend, Rogiero, who helped us immensely with moral support and cleaning supplies.  Also thanks to our other friends who helped with cash and replacement gifts.  A special thanks to Tom for his help of cash and moral support

Thank you to the Elmhurst Tower and especially the staff.  Jamie, Sergio and Peter.  Thank you.  You made life easier to handle our loses.

Our two expensive cameras were stolen by someone who had entered the apartment after the fire.  These photographs are taken by a borrowed camera

Keys:

fire, destroyed, Apt, Apartment, Elmhurst, New, York, Queens, 11373, Towers, 45th, Avenue, Kitchen, Living, Room, Bedroom, Dinning, 10th, Floor, 2009

The apartment fire photos were taken by a Panasonic FinePix DMC-TZ3 and iPhone