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Storage Building Fire… Risk of heat damage?


V TEX

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My 2011 Ride was in a 100x50 storage building that caught fire. The fire extinguished itself once the combustibles were burned. Luckily the boat was over 25’ to 30’ from the fire and the cover was on the boat. The stainless steel on the tower was severely discolored due to smoke and soot. After cleaning with soap and water it still looks pretty bad. I think it will clean up though with additional cleaning. The seats also had a light coat of soot on them, but hopefully will clean up. My question is, how do I evaluate if there is any heat damage? The building got hot enough to cause a soda bottle and kitchen soap bottle to expand and remain deformed under no pressure. The neck of the soda bottle expanded at the neck (the thickest part of the bottle) up to half way up the cap. Both were located 15 feet further away from the fire than the boat. Also the hard rubber vent on the boat cover deformed due to heat.

Since the fire extinguished itself and there was no insurance on the building no formal report was done in regards to the fire. I don’t see any apparent damage due to heat, but I plan on having the dealer evaluate it. Please let me know if you have any advice on how to evaluate if there is any damage due to heat.

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I would look over the gel coat very closely. Air pockets in the fiberglass may have caused blistering on the finish. You might also check the tires on the trailer for damage.

Do you own the boat outright or do you have a loan on it? If a loan, wouldn't you be required to have full coverage insurance on it? I realize you said you there was no formal report of the fire, but if there is damage, it might be worth asking about.

That being said, I'm glad your boat wasn't a total loss!

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If you have insurance coverage and if anything arises from the dealer inspection, you may want to consider turning in a claim. Smoke damage acts like an acid and is not good for any surface, especially electrical components. Hopefully, nothing bypassed the boat cover.

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My 2011 Ride was in a 100x50 storage building that caught fire. The fire extinguished itself once the combustibles were burned. Luckily the boat was over 25’ to 30’ from the fire and the cover was on the boat. The stainless steel on the tower was severely discolored due to smoke and soot. After cleaning with soap and water it still looks pretty bad. I think it will clean up though with additional cleaning. The seats also had a light coat of soot on them, but hopefully will clean up. My question is, how do I evaluate if there is any heat damage? The building got hot enough to cause a soda bottle and kitchen soap bottle to expand and remain deformed under no pressure. The neck of the soda bottle expanded at the neck (the thickest part of the bottle) up to half way up the cap. Both were located 15 feet further away from the fire than the boat. Also the hard rubber vent on the boat cover deformed due to heat.

Since the fire extinguished itself and there was no insurance on the building no formal report was done in regards to the fire. I don’t see any apparent damage due to heat, but I plan on having the dealer evaluate it. Please let me know if you have any advice on how to evaluate if there is any damage due to heat.

You need a vessel inspection by a yacht inspector, in this case I think one of these professionals is needed. Wiring could have melted causing shorts later on and you'll never know it till it's to late. Do you have decals on your boat? If so how do they look. If they are fine I wouldn't worry about the gelcoat.

Edit: I meant marine survey not vessel inspection.

Edited by Bobby Light
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Thanks for the comments everyone. I took the boat to the dealer. They are preparing an estimate for the insurance company.

Based on their initial inspection when I dropped it off they think the Gel Coat and fiberglass is Okay. They are going to inspect it top to bottom for smoke and heat damage.

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If I understood correctly, the storage company didn't file a report since they dont' have insurance nor report the fire to fire department? :unsure:

out of curiosity, if a large repair was needed, would your boat insurance company go after the storage company or the owner of the unit that burned for liability? I'm always curouis of who ends up paying for events like this.

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If I understood correctly, the storage company didn't file a report since they dont' have insurance nor report the fire to fire department? :unsure:

out of curiosity, if a large repair was needed, would your boat insurance company go after the storage company or the owner of the unit that burned for liability? I'm always curouis of who ends up paying for events like this.

When Insurance companies pay out a claim they generally look around and try to recover from someone else. For example, if I were welding in my storage bay next to my gas cans and started a fire and your boat got smoked, I would expect to get sued by you or your insurance company, (which may even sue in your name). In this example, if I have insurance, I will ask my insurance company to defend me or pay the claim. If I do not have insurance, I would have to hire an attorney and defend the claim or risk getting a judgment entered against me in favor of your insurance company. Some people are judgment proof, that is they do not own property that can be taken by the judgment creditor.

In Texas, people can live pretty good and still be judgment proof as judgment creditors in Texas cannot take my homestead, home furnishings, food, tools and equipment used in a business, clothes, some jewelry, and I can keep two guns, my athletic and sporting equipment, bicycles, two horses, (with a saddle for each), 12 cows, 60 head of other livestock, 120 fowl, and my dogs and one wheeled motor vehicle for each member of my family. Also, wages are not subject to being garnished in Texas (except for child support)

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In Texas, people can live pretty good and still be judgment proof as judgment creditors in Texas cannot take my homestead, home furnishings, food, tools and equipment used in a business, clothes, some jewelry, and I can keep two guns, my athletic and sporting equipment, bicycles, two horses, (with a saddle for each), 12 cows, 60 head of other livestock, 120 fowl, and my dogs and one wheeled motor vehicle for each member of my family. Also, wages are not subject to being garnished in Texas (except for child support)

Wow, dont' mess with texas...cause we're sue proof!!!

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