My name is Tami Traeden, I live in Portland Oregon. I recently heard about HomeZada and quickly checked out the website because I suffered from a home fire.
My interest was strong based on my experience in 2008. My husband and I were both home on a Sunday afternoon in November. Our home was a 100 year old craftsman which was quite drafty so I used space heaters often. I was upstairs in my office when I noticed the space heater was not putting out warm air. So, I had moved it to a new outlet in the room so I could be closer to the project I was working on. I did not think much of it until about 30 minutes later the power went out. My husband came upstairs to talk to me before going to the basement to check on the breaker box, when he glanced out the window.
What he saw forever changed our lives.Under the eaves he saw enormous flames shooting out from our roof line and a home fire is blazing. Needless to say the scramble was on to get out of the house and call 911.
Of course the fire department came and the house was in essence in need of a complete gut job. The roof and second story were destroyed, the water seemed to have done most of the damage everywhere else, it was not a total loss just a mess.
We found out later that the space heater caused the knob and tube wiring to overheat, and the breaker box was defective and did not trip until the fire was fully engulfing the walls and roof.
Our insurance company was great! They were on top of getting us a place to stay and cash to spend for essentials right away. However, it did not sink in how much work was ahead of me for a week or so. We met with our insurance contact and a restoration specialist and then it began. The documents we had to fill out in order for the reimbursement of our damaged and destroyed stuff were huge.
We did not have photo’s or a list or anything to help me remember and compile what was all lost. The house was cleared out pretty straight away so I could not see it physically; I had to go from memory.
It is not that I could not remember it is that it did not all come back at once. I had to sit quiet for days with my laptop and walk my mind through each room. I had to catalog each item and then find a current value for that item. Thank god for the internet and shopping sites so I could look up pricing. It had to be very detailed so that we got the money we really deserved. Down to what was in my refrigerator.
Re-building the house back to its original state was also a lesson in memory. The bid that came in was by line item by room and down to each screw that was going to be used.
Looking back, after our home fire, this project was a full time job for me. It would have been much easier if I had had the help of knowing what we owned and what it cost. I would have loved to have remembered the marble tiles we had in the bathroom that I wanted to get again. This can be one of the most stressful times you could ever have and a tool like HomeZada would have changed everything for me.