Monday, January 15, 2007

Sticking Together Like Ice

A really bad ice storm hit Springfield late Friday night January 12 and we survived (barely) 3 waves of the storm. The roads are fine, just a little wet, but the ice that has accumulated on the trees has caused huge problems. Downed trees and power lines has put this city at a standstill. At one point almost 90% of Springfield was completely without power and/or heat. And there are still over 65,000 residents that are still out of power and are going on Day 5 of no power now.

As a property management firm, we not only had our own homes and families to worry about, but we also had approximately 140 other rental homes to take care of. We're not out of the woods yet, but we banded together as a team and we went out in the storms and cut down tree limbs out of power lines and checked on our Tenants. Afterall, that's what our Owners pay us for, right?

2007 has certainly started off with a bang for us. First with the major house fire on the 5th of January, and now this major ice problem on the 15th of January. I'm starting to think that we have had our fill for the year. :) As it has been said before, "that which does not kill us only makes us stronger" and that has been the case for the employees of Dizmang Properties. We want to reassure our Owners/Investors that we are taking care of your properties as if they were our own.

So here we are in "crisis mode" trying our best to make sure that all of our Tenants homes are secure and safe. We really appreciate the Tenants that have pulled their weight in assisting us in removing tree limbs from their properties. More than that, we appreciate your patience as we have been really backed up with calls. The biggest thing is the electrical mast poles on top of the houses. We understand that many are bent or broken due to tree limbs coming down on top of them. We must have an electrician fix those before City Utilities will turn the power back on. Like everyone else, our electrician is back logged big time and we are getting to each one as quick as we can. Again, thank you for your patience.

I'll keep this blog updated with details and pictures. Did you see the video podcast? It gives you a great look at how things really are around here.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Careless Smoking by Tenants Causes Fire

It's rare that an unfortunate event such as a fire consumes a property.

On January 5, 2007 around 4am, it happened to us.

Working in the property management business for over 20 years, this is the first fire we've had to deal with.

The local tv stations were on the scene and reported the fire very early in the morning. We figured that the first phone call we should make is to the owner of the property before they saw it on the news and wondered why we hadn't yet called them.

Our other top priority was to find the 2 Tenants that were living in the property and make sure that they were okay.

As we sifted thru the bystanders in awe of the burning building, we sorted out the details of how this happened. The fire had obviously started in the garage and we have now figured out it was because one of the young college students living in the property had a party where everyone was smoking in the garage. Someone's cigarette started the garage on fire. The fire consumed the entire garage and most of the house after everyone had left. To make matters worse...the Tenants had also dismantled their smoke detectors a few months prior because they didn't want to have to deal with the annoying "beeping" noise coming from the low battery signal. So they dismantled ALL 4 smoke detectors to stop the annoyance.

This story does have a hero involved. Our hero, Mike Blake, usually works until 7:00am every day about a mile down the street from where this house was located. Ironically on the morning of January 5th, he had got off work a little over 2 hours early. As he was driving home, he saw and smelled the smoke from over 3 blocks away. He drove down the street where he saw the house engulfed in flames. He immediately called 911 and then barged in the front door and pulled one of the Tenants to the curb. Tenant #1 told Mike that his roommate and dog were still in the house. By now, the flames were too hot for Mike to go back into the house. Hear Mike's story first hand by watching our video podcast. (Be patient, it may take a few minutes to load). Fortunately, the fireman showed up at that point and rescued Tenant #2 and the dog from the house. Tenant #2 had to go to the hospital for smoke inhalation. He later told us that he didn't even realize what was going on until the gurney dropped on the ambulance floor to take him to the hospital. In addition to many other lessons learned here, this should be obvious to students who party and drink too much. Things got out of hand really fast and serious damage has occurred.

The Tenant's dog was rescued from the house, but had to be resussitated. The fireman worked on the black lab dog for 15 minutes and finally revived the animal. It's amazing how the fireman went above and beyond to make sure that everyone survived.

Have you ever dealt with a house fire? If you haven't would you know what to do?

We are documenting each and every step we take as we proceed to clean up this very big mess. We want to share with each of you out there in this blogosphere the importance of smoke detectors and how to deal with this unfortunate situation as a Property Manager.

As you may already know, Dizmang Properties, which consists of myself (Paul Dizmang), my office/property manager, Jessica Hickok; our Maintenance Guru, Nathan and our Buyer's Agent, Jay Reasor. We are all going to blog about this as it has made a big impact on our lives. We care very deeply for our Owner/Investors, our Tenants and the general welfare of people in general. Stay with us as we continue to blog and video podcast our experiences.

Have you got some suggestions on how to deal with this? If so, speak up. We need all of the help we can get.

RETRACTION: Dizmang Properties would like to retract any statement that was said or made regarding the Tenants being careless. At the time that the article was written, not all of the facts were presented properly to the authors of this article. The original article should have stated that only one of the Tenants was intoxicated at the time. We apologize to anyone that this has negatively impacted.