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.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dismantled smoke detectors? Sounds like these tenants are lucky to be alive.

Anonymous said...

This guy should receive some sort of honor or award for saving those kids' lives.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that's my dad!!!! I can't believe he did such an awesome thing. Dad, if you see this, I just want to say that I'm proud of you and I love you so much!

Dizmang Properties Real Estate said...

I am assuming (Anonymous 7:08pm) that your Dad is the hero of this story. If so, you should be proud of him. Thanks for the comment on the blog post.

Anonymous said...

that's my brother, good work bro.he is a hero.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thanks for that guy saving the lives of my friends who lived there. He really should relieve an honor for that. I disagree with a lot of the article, a bunch of the stuff that was said was in favor of the rental company, and a lot of the "facts" about the tenants and the fire were untrue. Maybe you should ask them about it before publishing an article like that, considering you never heard there side of it and a lot of what you posted was incorrect.

Dizmang Properties Real Estate said...

Thank you for posting your comment, Anonymous 10:13. Please understand that the "facts" that we have presented in this article are what they are. These facts have come directly from our conversations with the Tenants/Occupants themselves AND with the Fire Marshall and his reports. If you were part of this group that was involved in the fire and you have not yet spoken with the Fire Marshall, then I would highly encourage you to speak with him and present any information that has not already been stated. If you'd like to, please feel free to contact us if you'd like to go on the record and present any "facts" that you feel have been left out of this article or not presented correctly. We can always cross reference them with those we have received from the Tenants and Springfield Fire Department. Our position, as the rental management company, is to first and foremost make sure that the Tenants are okay and ultimately make sure that everyone is aware of the dangers of tampering with smoke detectors.

Your friends are lucky to be alive and ultimately, as we have discussed with them and their families, we are the most grateful for that...despite the facts, reasons or cause of the fire.

Anonymous said...

Then why are you trying to sue them? Seems you don't care they are displaced or lost a lot in the fire, but as long as you get your money that's all that matters, like most renters.

Dizmang Properties Real Estate said...

Anonymous 5:12 We care greatly about our tenants and always have. We provide excellent safe housing and make sure the homes are maintained with care. However, we cannot control neglect from tenants. It is the tenants responsibility to take reasonable care of the property that they have chosen to lease. If damage has been done to the property, weather large or small, it is the tenants responsibiltiy to pay for such damage. Therefore, it is wise and highly recommended that all tenants purchase renters insurance to cover them in the event of such a loss.
With this said, we are not sueing anyone at this time and I don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

First off, as the neighbors of the "careless tenants" we would like to say that these kids were not as hard of partiers as they were made out to be in the article. Very rarely did our neighbors have parties, and they were always curtious to all of us on this street. I love ( sarcasm ) that the article states that the top priority of the renters was to ensure that the homeowner was satisfied, and then as an afterthought, Dizmang realized they should probably mention the tenants that were endangered. The article also states that Dizmang cares deeply for all their tenants, however, we have never had this made clear to us, considering we have made many phone calls to our landlord that were never returned or acknowledged. Good Job Dizmang! once again, you dropped the ball.

Anonymous said...

While renters insurance is very important, and a very good idea for all tenants, most, not all, but most plans only cover what is in the house, not the structure itself. I'm not saying that the tenants should not be responsible at all, but the home owner should have coverage on the actual structure.

On top of that, I do want to say that I agree with what was said above. I think what was written about the tenants was very biased. If an article is written about a tragic situation, it should remain neutral to withold the integrity of both parties affected. Although this may not be 100% correct, from a general standpoint, many of the houses have taken down their smoke detectors due to the loud sporadic beeping that does not go away with a new battery. Maybe an investment in different smoke detectors would make a difference. And although negligence may have been involved, a fire can start for many reasons, and just as a person may have flicked a cigarette-butt while driving by or from within the garage, I think it is unfair and in bad taste to portray the tenants in the way that they have.

renters insurance web site:
https://w2.assurant.com/rentersecurity/gck/?cmsJobnumber=234233&gclid=CKbByoz3hooCFSd5SAodJ11Jfg

Anonymous said...

Ok, first I want to say that no one wants to have their friends and neighbors to look like the bad guys, especially in a tragic situation like this. But, let's face it, the house didn't burn itself down. They might not have just partied all the time, but now one house is burnt down and another almost was. One more thing, about the smoke detectors and their beeping. Don't make all of us on this street look like idiots. Like all new homes, the smoke detectors are connected so that they all beep together. That way in a fire all the detectors go off to wake up the whole house. So do yourself a favor, replace all the batteries and stop acting like a baby.

Jessica Hickok said...

For the record, I bent over backwards for those Tenants involved in the fire. It was my first and only priority that day to make sure that they were okay. Anyone who knows me, my work and my company knows that I do what I can for the Tenants that rent from us. And if the Tenant's involved in the fire felt that we didn't care about them, then why do you suppose that they rented another property from us after this fire? All you have done Mr. Anonymous 6:59pm is blow a lot of hot air about an issue that you obviously know nothing about. The great thing about it is that you have driven a lot of traffic to our blog and web site. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

OK I THINK ITS TIME TO STOP BLAMEING EVERYONE FOR WHAT HAPPENED.IT WAS ONE OF THOSE THINGS YA KNOW COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANYONE OF YOU ALL. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE IS THAT NO ONE WAS KILLED. AS FOR THE OWNERS OF THE PROPERTIES I WAS AT THE FIRE AND FROM WHAT I SAW THEY CARED A LOT ABOUT THE TENANTS THEY WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THEM AND THEY DID AND WAS ASKING AT DIFFERANT TIMES ALL NIGHT ABOUT THE GUYS IN THE FIRE. SO PUT YOUR SELF IN THERE SHOES STOP AND THINK THIS COULD HAVE JUST AS EASLY BEEN ONE OF YOU.

Melissa said...

As the girlfriend of one of the tenants I would like to say that the article made him out to be completely different than he actucally is. Dizmang obviously knows nothing about him because if they did then they would know that he hardly ever drinks, has never smoked a day in his life, and never parties. He never has people over at his house and he is a responsible student with a job and an internship. Dizmang should not assume that both roommates act the exact same way when obviously they don't. Yes they should not have disconnected the smoke detectors, but don't make my boyfriend out to be someone he is not.

Dizmang Properties Real Estate said...

RETRACTION: Dizmang Properties would like to retract any statement that was said or made regarding the Tenants being 'careless', or 'hard-partying drunk'. At the time that the article was written, not all of the facts were presented properly to the author 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.

Anonymous said...

First and foremost your article contains numerous errors, grammatically and factually. While one of the roommates had been drinking and had people over it was not an out-of-control party by any means. The other tenant rarely ever drinks and had not been at all that night. In fact he had been sleeping and was awaken when the 2nd roommate had brought some friends over. He was able to fall back asleep ( not pass out because of alcohol) when he asked them to quiet down. Your article is grossly bias and its sickening you thought you would get away with it!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...
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