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  1. #1
    Junior Member H0tAngel's Avatar
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    Post Some excellent info to know

    Quite a few years ago my friend had a fire in her home and though most of what she owned was ruined, the 1 thing that broke her heart the most were all the pictures of her children that were heavily damaged from smoke and water.

    Having another friend that is a photographer, I asked him if there was anything she could do to save any of her pictures. Fortunately, there was and here's how.

    You start off using slightly warm water and a brand new bar of Ivory bath soap. You wash each picture with the soap and rinse it out thorougly. Then, and this is the key to success, hang the photo(s) up by 1 corner using a clothes pin to hold it firmly in place. Allow the photo(s) to dry at least 24 hours before taking them down.

    If you have an oil painting or a canvas photo, you will need Murphy's oil soap and a very soft bristle toothbrush. Put a relatively small amount of full strength Murphy's Oil Soap directly on the picture, wet the toothbrush with warm water then GENTLY move the toothbrush in circles then rinse well. Hang this photo up to dry also and let it dry a minimum of 24 hours.

    Depending on the amount of smoke & soot that is on the photos will determine how well this will work. However, these steps may be repeated as often as necessary till they will clean up no more.

    Please be sure to give this information to everyone you know and ask your local fire chief if you can make copies of this information to give to people when you have finished putting out their fire. I know my friend had a renewed sense of hope when I gave her this good news.

    God Bless You all and THANK YOU for all that you do.

    Deborah


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    thanks for the info. I will let sone people know

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    I am a little skeptical about some of this information, having worked in a darkroom for a few years now.

    I'm sure that if you use a toothbrush in that fashion on an oil painting, it will be damaged worse. I wouldn't advise giving this info out.

    Just my 0.02 though.

  4. #4
    Junior Member H0tAngel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 42VTExplorer
    I am a little skeptical about some of this information, having worked in a darkroom for a few years now.

    I'm sure that if you use a toothbrush in that fashion on an oil painting, it will be damaged worse. I wouldn't advise giving this info out.

    Just my 0.02 though.
    I can understand where you are coming from but I assure you that Olan Mills gave me the instructions on how to clean my friends family picture for her and I did the work myself. It honestly did work but you have to be VERY gentle when work the Oil Soap into the painting as the brush actually could cause damage. If done proper, it will be nearly as good as new and the Oil Soap will replenish the oils that were lost from the heat of the fire.

    Stay safe!

  5. #5
    Forum Member len1582's Avatar
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    Question

    The soap won't do anything to the colors?

  6. #6
    Junior Member H0tAngel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by len1582
    The soap won't do anything to the colors?
    Suprisingly, no. The color does not change at all once it has completely dried. While it is wet, you will notice a bluish hue to the photo but once it is dry, it is as close to new as you can get.

    The one that I did took 2 cleanings to get the largest majority of the smoke and soot off of the picture. However, her fire contained an enormous amount of chemicals from all of the plastic that was burning on top of her TV/VCR/Video cabinet. I'm sure with each fire the end result of the photo clean up will be different.

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    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    I'm tempted to try a little experiment and see if it works....... Pretty skeptical right now, though.........

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    Forum Member ffexpCP's Avatar
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    Couldnít you just freeze them like books and let the insurance company pick up the tab to have them professionally cleaned?

  9. #9
    Junior Member H0tAngel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by firenresq77
    I'm tempted to try a little experiment and see if it works....... Pretty skeptical right now, though.........
    Please do give it a try. When you are finished, please let us all know what your end results are. The more people that try it out and give their input, the better it is for us all.

    Stay Safe

  10. #10
    Junior Member H0tAngel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ffexpCP
    Couldnít you just freeze them like books and let the insurance company pick up the tab to have them professionally cleaned?
    I can honestly say that I have no idea. In the situation I spoke of, my friend was waiting on the closing on her house and had dropped her renters insurance on the Townhouse she was living in at the time of the fire so I was trying to get together as much help for her as possible. In the end, all of her expenses would have been covered since she did win her lawsuit against the Housing Development but I was thinking of the "now" and not the later.

    If you know of any other ways that could help someone to save at least SOME of their belongings, please share with all of us.

    Stay Safe

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    You can also scan the important pictures, put them on a CD, and put the CD in a fireproof safe. No computer needed, just go to kinko's. You can scan them very high-res and if needed, go to a professional print shop and get them reprinted. They will be good as new.

    Eric

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    If you know of any other ways that could help someone to save at least SOME of their belongings, please share with all of us.
    Salvage and overhaul.

    You know those big, synthetic sheets we carry on the apparatus? Wait.. What are those called? Salvage covers? Tarps? Hmmm...

    Have a few extra guys around? Send em' in with a line and a few covers to protect furniture and other belongings that are not directly exposed to fire in the early stages. Prevents water damage if done properly, and can make a home owner extremely happy to see "Granny's old, comfortable, over stuffed chair" covered up from the water you are flowing right above it on the second floor.

    Is this tactic practical when you have 8 guys on scene? No. But if you have 20, and guys aren't put to use, what can a early salvage team hurt? Worried about loosing the tarps? They are replacable. Saving the family heirlooms that aren't, will most likely in the end get you much kudos from the family. I've seen crews get approached months after a fire, and be complimented on the wonderful job they did on saving the home or business, and get just as much thanks for saving all the property from water damage too.

  13. #13
    Junior Member H0tAngel's Avatar
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    Let me explain about the little town of Mineral Ridge, Ohio aka Weathersfield Township (which is where I moved from). The township has approximately 3,500 people living in the Mineral Ridge portion of the township. Out of those 3,500 people, NONE are paid firefighters so they all work other jobs. If there is a fire, Mineral Ridge would be lucky if 8 firemen showed up. When they call for trucks from the other 2 stations (which are actually located in Niles* aka McKinley Heights & the on the other end of Niles), which also are volunteer, the firemen come from several towns to get to the stations then drive to the scene of the fire. Easily another 20 mins. has passed. In the meantime, there is a fire beginning to rage as everything is reaching it's spontaneous combusion temperature. When it's all said and done, there is almost as much fire apparatus on the scene as firemen so the advice of "extra" firemen putting tarps on peoples furniture just isn't going to happen. Besides, what the fire department does for you depends on where you live. If you are in the ritzier section of town, they'd bend over backwards for you but if you live in Government Housing... Forget about it!

    When my friend had the fire in her apartment, I called the dispatcher (which was not 911 at the time) and she told me, and I quote "We can't send a fire truck to the house if we don't know the house number."

    Now don't get an attitude with me just yet, let me finish the story.

    I told her, and I really wasn't very nice about it, "Just send the trucks, it's the apartment with the fu*king flames in the front window!"

    Due to the fog and the distance between my building and hers, I wasn't sure exactly whose apartment was on fire and really, does the address matter that much in an apartment complex that consists of 50 townhouses on a dead end street?!?!

    Now having said that, you know that she sent the trucks, right? Right, she sent them. TO THE WRONG DA*N APARTMENT COMPLEX! I'm just very thankful that I wasn't the only 1 awake at 4:45am so I wasn't the only 1 to call in the fire. They eventually did make it to her apartment but... well, y'all can just imagine the outcome. Oh yeah, and they had to call in the other 2 stations to have enough people to fight the fire. Small town living sucks, I don't care what state you live in.

    *Niles, Ohio is the town that showed up at a fire but didn't do anything because it wasn't in their jurisdiction so they waited for Weathersfield Township aka McKinley Heights to arrive to put out the house fire. I'm sure some of you remember THAT little gem of a story.

    Small town living I've got a ton of stories I could tell y'all. I was raised in 1 small town, left that town for another small town before I finally wised up and got the he*l outta Ohio. Ahhh... the memories. LoL

    Y'all stay safe.

  14. #14
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    so the advice of "extra" firemen putting tarps on peoples furniture just isn't going to happen. Besides, what the fire department does for you depends on where you live. If you are in the ritzier section of town, they'd bend over backwards for you but if you live in Government Housing... Forget about it!
    You aren't serious I hope. I wonder what the members of those departments that read this board would think.

    When my friend had the fire in her apartment, I called the dispatcher (which was not 911 at the time) and she told me, and I quote "We can't send a fire truck to the house if we don't know the house number."
    Why didn't you dial 911? If you can't give them the correct address, they have to search around longer. If they get a que of calls about the address, and this department is as understaffed as claimed, then they have to respond to every address.

    I told her, and I really wasn't very nice about it, "Just send the trucks, it's the apartment with the fu*king flames in the front window!"
    Just because it is a "small town" doesn't mean anything. Yeah, granted you can see a fire glowing in the night, but even as quoted above, that doesn't help a dispatcher too day much.

    Due to the fog and the distance between my building and hers, I wasn't sure exactly whose apartment was on fire and really, does the address matter that much in an apartment complex that consists of 50 townhouses on a dead end street?!?!
    Yup, it does matter. If they go knock on the wrong one, and the crew doesn't see that it is the house that's 5 blocks down because something is obstructing their view, not their fault if dispatch information is incorrect.

    Now having said that, you know that she sent the trucks, right? Right, she sent them. TO THE WRONG DA*N APARTMENT COMPLEX! I'm just very thankful that I wasn't the only 1 awake at 4:45am so I wasn't the only 1 to call in the fire. They eventually did make it to her apartment but... well, y'all can just imagine the outcome. Oh yeah, and they had to call in the other 2 stations to have enough people to fight the fire. Small town living sucks, I don't care what state you live in.
    Hmmm 2 callers, could be 2 different fires. It seems you are just being critical of the department. Your information to them wasn't exactly clear. How many apartment buildings are in your town? Even if there is a second group of them, well, that's another location they'd have to go. Could be yours, or XYZ Apartments on the other side of town. Mutual aide at a fire is *not* a bad thing provided that they are doing their job.



    --42VT Out.

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    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    42VTExplorer, I think you're letting your youth show a little bit here. You said:
    Why didn't you dial 911? If you can't give them the correct address, they have to search around longer.
    Unless I'm misreading her post, H0tAngel's town did not have 911 when the fire happened. Contrary to popular belief, 911 is not available nationwide. Also, many areas without 911 service also don't have street addresses. In these areas, mail is delivered by using postal rural route addresses (route 3 box 12, for example) that correspond only to the path driven by the carrier and not necessarily the street layout. Fires are reported by calling the PD, Sheriff, or FD and getting dispatched to a fire "behind the old smith place" is common. It works ok so long as everyone uses the same names for local landmarks but get a newcomer on either end of the line and chaos will rule. Remember, without 911 you don't have automatic number identification or automatic address display. The dispatcher has to milk the correct location out of the caller.

    Also her accusation that:
    what the fire department does for you depends on where you live. If you are in the ritzier section of town, they'd bend over backwards for you but if you live in Government Housing...
    is pretty common. In my area, a fire victim recently filed a lawsuit accusing a large career department of letting her house burn because of where she lived. Obviously, I have absoultely no firsthand knowledge of H0tAngel's area but she's almost certainly wrong.

    H0tAngel, there IS usually a difference between the outcome of fires in "ritzy" vs. "poor" parts of EVERY town in this country, but not for the reasons you imply. The "ritzier" areas are usually newer homes that are well built and maintained, with new appliances and alarm systems. Fires are rare, get detected early, and the structure holds up longer so the FD can fight it more aggressively. In contrast, the poorer parts of most towns are usually filled with structures that catch fire more often, burn faster, and only get detected when it starts blowing out the windows. The result is a lot more defensive operations and greater loss rate.
    Last edited by EFD840; 03-24-2004 at 09:26 AM.

  16. #16
    Junior Member H0tAngel's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by 42VTExplorer


    You aren't serious I hope. I wonder what the members of those departments that read this board would think.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yes, I am serious and if the members of THAT department were to read this post, they would agree. Don't get me wrong, there are a few guys that are fair but the majority of them are not.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Why didn't you dial 911? If you can't give them the correct address, they have to search around longer. If they get a que of calls about the address, and this department is as understaffed as claimed, then they have to respond to every address.


    Just because it is a "small town" doesn't mean anything. Yeah, granted you can see a fire glowing in the night, but even as quoted above, that doesn't help a dispatcher too day much.


    Yup, it does matter. If they go knock on the wrong one, and the crew doesn't see that it is the house that's 5 blocks down because something is obstructing their view, not their fault if dispatch information is incorrect.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ok, now I might "sound" like I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack but just how "dim" do you think I am?!?! If we HAD 911 back then, I would have used it. The dispatcher, at that time, lived across the street from the fire station and the fire station is approximately 1/2 mile from the apartment complex I lived in. Ya'd think it'd be a bit hard to mess up that call. Oh and a little bit of info you obviously overlooked is the fact that the apartment complex is at the end of a DEAD END ROAD. 50 townhouses in a cul de sac style complex. I give the firemen WAY more credit than I do the dispatcher. The firemen would have had NO problem finding the fire IF they had been sent to the correct apartment complex.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hmmm 2 callers, could be 2 different fires. It seems you are just being critical of the department. Your information to them wasn't exactly clear. How many apartment buildings are in your town? Even if there is a second group of them, well, that's another location they'd have to go. Could be yours, or XYZ Apartments on the other side of town. Mutual aide at a fire is *not* a bad thing provided that they are doing their job.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I never said that mutual aide is a bad thing. Also, it was more than 2 callers but it was still only 1 apartment complex with only 1 name. There are 3,500 people living in Mineral Ridge. I don't think you're seeing the entire picture here. When you know each firefighter & police officer by name, when they got married, had children, how many, etc., you just have to imagine that this is a little "neighborhood" instead of a township. There are 3 SMALL apartment complexes each with it's own individual name. This wasn't a hard call. The instructions could have been as simple as: "Drive down Main St. to Orchard Ct. (which is only 3 streets away) then make a right. Pass the 3 houses on the street and make a right into the apartment complex and look for the flames." Does that give you a better idea as to the size of this little hick township I lived in?

    Stay Safe

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    EFD: I was under the impression a non emergency line was called. We have multiple calls a month to our dispatchers via non emergency "Hi, I just wanted to make sure that you know that there is a xyz at qrs street". My mistake.

    Oh, and I do know that E911 systems are a relatively new thing, the town I moved from just barely got theirs functioning.

  18. #18
    Forum Member kghemtp's Avatar
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    You're drilling our guest rather hard for just trying to offer some honest, friendly help, 42. You have to think a little more about these things-- some come on with the intention of antagonizing people. Some want attention. Some simply wish to share a bad experience & little things that made it easier.
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
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    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

  19. #19
    Junior Member H0tAngel's Avatar
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    My intentions were exactly that, an attempt to share some information that would be of use to other fire victims. My friend's fire was over 13 years ago and I have since longed to be able to share this information with so many people but have never known how to go about getting the word out. When the Niles, Ohio/ Weathersfield Township fire incident happened, the local (Ohio)paper mentioned that the story had made it to Firehouse.com and that is how I found about this site. It took reading a story about a fireman who came home from a 24 hour shift to find his house on fire for it to click in my head that THIS is the site I can share this useful information with others and not just half a dozen folks but thousands AND from different countries. I was/am so excited about finally being able to share this info. 42 set me back a bit but having read kv's post, I have come to see where 42 may have been coming from. It is unfortunate that any of y'all should have to even consider the fact that someone coming on this forum is here to dis' y'all.

    Just for the record, so that there will be no misunderstandings (hopefully lol)in the future, my dearest friend, of 24 years, is a Fire Chief & spent several years as a Fire Investigator for the State Fire Marshall's office. My brother was a Police Officer & many friends of mine are or were Police Officer's. While we're on the subject, I also come from a Military family. So, needless to say, I support FD's, PD's & Military 100%. And I don't care what anybody says, y'all get don't get paid anywhere NEAR the amount of money y'all deserve.

    Stay Safe
    Deborah

  20. #20
    Junior Member H0tAngel's Avatar
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    Default firenresq77...

    Originally posted by firenresq77
    I'm tempted to try a little experiment and see if it works....... Pretty skeptical right now, though.........
    Long time no hear from. I was wondering if you ever did your experiment and if you did, how well it turned out. I'm hoping that maybe you found something even better that can be shared with everyone.

    Y'all stay safe!
    Deborah

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