Fires are the most common occurrences where homes are concerned. A fire will take a home more often than a tornado, a hurricane, or a falling tree ever will. If you have recently been through a fire, and you want somewhere to start rebuilding your home and what you have lost, the following suggestions will help.
Pick Through the Cinders and Ash to See If Anything Can Be Salvaged
If firefighters were able to put out the flames such that only part of your home was consumed by fire, there may be some things you can still rescue. Make sure a fire marshal lets you know where in your home it is safe to walk, and then you can enter and begin removing things. If there were any valuables left behind, see if you can find those items first. If there is an adequate amount of stuff, rent a portable storage unit to hold your belongings and keep them safe from theft while you work out details regarding rebuilding. If things are wet, find ways to dry them out, or have professional furniture cleaners clean and extract the salvageable furniture.
Hire a Fire Damage Contractor and a Building Contractor
You will need both of these contractors to try to restore your home. The fire contractor will remove everything that is beyond repair, and everything that is more damaged than you may have realized. A fire damage contractor can also remove some smoke damage and odors from the parts of your home that can be salvaged. Then the building contractor can begin to rebuild all of the sections of your home that need to be rebuilt and replaced. The melding of the old and the new will be seamless when these contractors are finished, but it will take a lot of time.
You will need one dumpster for all of the fire-ruined items and the cinders and ash that will need cleaning up. You will need another dumpster for everything that was not touched by flames but is definitely damaged beyond any possible restoration efforts. (This is usually stuff that is saturated by smoke smell, water, sewage, etc..) The fire damage contractor may want a third dumpster for the purpose of tossing building scraps, but you will have to discuss that with him/her. Place the dumpsters on your property where they are out of the way of workers but still close enough to haul trash to without breaking your back. Be sure to label each dumpster so that no one throws the wrong items or trash into the wrong containers.