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Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.
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When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:35 pm

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php ... 325&ref=nf

The above is a video of the Chesapeake Fire Department burning down an old house. You can see in the beginning of the video that it was a fine old house. I'm guessing it was built in the late 1800s, but I really am not sure. You can hear the firemen talking about how much of a fight the old house puts up.

Why - oh why - aren't we salvaging the materials from these old houses, built with first-growth lumber from virgin forests? Lumber - the likes of which - we will never see again in this country?

This old wood is so hard and solid and strong. This is so disturbing. Why are we burning up these resources? Is there no market for salvaged heart-pine and comparable materials?

Rose
http://www.uglywomansguide.com
http://www.searshomes.org

Re: When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:42 pm

This video either has been removed from Facebook or is not visible due to privacy settings. :cry:

Re: When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:13 pm

Sorry about the video. It's an 1866-built Georgian Colonial with six massive two-story fluted columns on the front, supporting a huge gabled porch overhang. It looked like a 4,000 square foot mansion, and it was situated on a spacious lot (a couple acres?) with no other houses around it. The house really looked like something right out of Gone With the Wind.

The operative phrases in this description should be past tense. :(

It's gone now.

Re: When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:01 pm

RosemaryT wrote:Is there no market for salvaged heart-pine and comparable materials?


Cleaned heart pine salvaged flooring starts at $3.50 a linerial foot and the market is there ,they just figured it was cheaper to have the FD burn it then to salvage it :evil:


RosemaryT wrote:The house really looked like something right out of Gone With the Wind.


That house was listed for $650 k two years ago,the main attraction was because it was the actual house,but in the long term the next generation probably does not have a clue to the movie and frankly does not give a damm ,I think I heard that some where :)

Re: When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:14 pm

I didn't thinnk they did the training fires anymore! Here there's just too much risk - haven't burned down a house on purpose in decades.

You're right RM - losing the salvage value of that house is a shame. It may be tho that it was cleaned out - today people don't let that stuff go by - someone thinks about it usually - even if they're using the "5 finger discount" plan! The floors - those probably weren't salvaged tho. Everytime I look at my ugly floors and see the beautiful floors you all have here - I am fixated on how I might get to use salvaged (new) floors - what a thrill it would be!

On the other hand - in defense of the FD guys - training to save lives and structures is important and often they do this with houses that are deemed unsalvageable (by amatures I'm sure) and destined for demo. The training they get may be what saves a life - or someone else's house in the future. A sacrifice - but better this than just rotting away and benefiting no one.

Re: When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:07 pm

We still do them up here but its alot tougher to get the ok to burn them like we used to

Until now I never thought of that years ago

Re: When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:05 am

I understand the fire department needs the experience, but howzabout we leave the historic structures alone and start setting fire to the over-gabled, ugly-as-sin, ultra-modern plasticine McMansions? I know burning down one of those nasty looking vinyl-clad, plastic-wrapped houses would be more like setting fire to huge pile of 2-liter pepsi bottles, but isn't that the type of structure that our fire department needs practice with?

I just hate seeing perfectly good houses get torched.

Sigh.

Image

Re: When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:20 am

That just makes me sick. A gross waste of material, not to mention a gross waste of a beautiful historic structure. Are there no tumble-down structures in Virginia for the F.D. to "practice" on that they must destroy such a wonderful house? Are there no historic preservation activists in Chesapeake? :shock: :twisted: :cry:

Re: When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:47 am

We have two salvage warehouses near me:

http://www.historicyork.org/ and http://www.secondchanceinc.org/. I visited an Habitat for Humanity salvage warehouse, 100 miles south of me while visiting my dad last week. These places are around, find them (google) and spread the word.

If no one buys and moves the house, both of my local non-profit warehouses will come and salvage for free, then the owner and/or fire department can do their thing. People need to be made aware. County offices and real estate offices can be contacted easily via email. I suggested just such to 2nd Chance.

Many an old house, much nicer than my handyman special has gone down overnight around here. It's either ignorance or local capitalism...

Makes me sick too but make a dent - email your local real estate and county offices.

My 2 cents

Re: When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:43 pm

RosemaryT I am with you. Can I be your campaign manager? Can they also practice on a walmart or two?
It is a shame where our priorities are in this country sometimes.
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