Posted by: evesmarketing | April 28, 2013

My house is on fire cont. – The Excavation Starts

The Clean up and Excavation Starts

The huge dumpster arrived on the back of a long truck bed on Friday afternoon.  Then came another truck carry a medium size excavator.   Several neighbors came expecting to see the work started.  But since it was a Friday afternoon, the workers were only getting set up for Monday morning.

truck with large dumpster

Truck bring in a large dumpster

first dumpster arrives

First dumpster arrives

Monday morning, two trucks with three – four men arrived ready to start the day.

maciine to remove debris

Machine brought in to remove debris

Mr. Kistler’s plan was to start in the back and work towards the front.

starting the clean up

Starting the clean up.

He started a pile of metal to the back of the lot and then would put the rest of the debris in the dumpster.

Inch by inch he worked… hour by hour.

working inch by inch

Mr. Kistler working inch by inch.

It was exciting to watch him work with his machine that reminded me of a small dinosaur eating through the debris.

bucket looked like dinosaur head

Looked the head of dinosaur


As I watched from our lot, I could see the machine’s bucket appear over debris looking like the head of a dinosaur.

dinosaur eating

Looked like head of dinosaur eating the house

I continued to have mixed emotions watching each day.  Excitement watching the machine lift large amount of debris into the dumpster and yet seeing that same machine pick up a small piece of metal and put it into the pile of metal.   But, I also felt sad as I recall the man hours my husband and I worked on this rental property.

As you see…we had bought this old run down home in the 1990’s.  We had the electrical wiring redone, most of the plumbing, new insulation, siding and roofing.  In the kitchen, we had put new flooring down, new cabinets with a new cabinet top, repainted the walls, and put in a neon ceiling light.   That was just the kitchen.  New toilet, tub, sink with cabinet, and flooring in the bathroom.   We had put paneling into several rooms, with new light fixtures.   The dining room still had the old flooring which was in good shaped and had spent several hours sanding the floor.   Austin room was a little special.   We had helped to tear down an old frame house several years prior and had saved this beautiful barn wood.   We put these 4 feet tall barn wood panels around his room and topped it with a board to add a shelf.   On this shelf Austin had put his prize wrestling trophies and the trophies and ribbons he had won when showing sheep with his grandfather at the county and state fairs.   We had also bought several zealous windows when the deal presented itself.   We spent several hours installing these windows on the front porch.  Since during the fire the wind was blowing to the North rather than the South which helped to preserve the windows…we were able to remove and save these 14 windows.   Our plan was to have a porch on the new modular and to reuse these windows.   We also had new two-way windows installed on all the windows, plus new doors.  Yes, this was sad to see our work go up in smoke. But the family was safe!   These were just material things that could be replaced…but not the family and their dogs.

removel of roof

Removal of roof

Each day, Mr. Kistler and his little machine inched their way thought all the debris.

machine eating the roof

Machine eating away at the roof.

Most of the days, I would watch until his machine started on the remaining roof section.   To hear the crunch, crunch, crunch, as the machine would take a bite and rip it away was too much to watch and hear.  Thank the good Lord my daughter and the boys at school as this would be heart breaking to watch and hear.

front of house shell coming

Working toward the front shell of house

As each dumpster would be filled, the truck would come with a new one and the filled dumpster would be removed.  I lost count after 6 loads.

dumpster full of debris

Another dumpster full of debris

The dumpsters would be alternated, the new one to the back yard, and then the driver would pick up the full dumpster toward the front of the house.

Next time, the new dumpster would go to the front, and the filled dumpster in the back yard would be picked up.  Next, the new dumpster would go to the back and the filled dumpster in the front would be picked up.  And so this continued…very organized…just like clockwork.

roof being removed

Roof being removed

Each day, Mr. Kistler and his crew worked and finally Friday came.

partial basement exposed

Partial basement now exposed.

The partial basement was now exposed and was filled with concrete slabs, bricks and then pea gravel that was brought in.  There had also been a cistern and an old well that had to be filled plus an old septic tank that had just been pumped out a few months ago.   These needed to be filled with solid material rather than just dirt to support the new foundation for the new modular.

And…then there was  still the metal pile to be removed.   I had to laugh; there in the pile was my daughter stock pot she had bought just a few months ago.

stock pot saved from fire

Stock pot fund in pile of debris

She had borrowed ours several times until she was able to purchase one herself.   She had whined about losing her’s in the fire.   I could not believe what I was seeing.  HER CROCK POT!   Mr. Kistler was able to pull it out of the pile for me.   It was black and was dented in on one side.  Mr. Kistler was able to pop the side out leaving just a small dent.  The pot was black from soot so took it home to my husband to clean.   The pot cleaned up nicely and was just like new…shiny but missing the lid.   As a joke we boxed it up and gave it to our daughter on Easter as part of her Easter basket.  You have to make some fun out of a bad situation.

Mr. Kistler and his crew continue to clean up the lot and to remove all the debris.  They even walked the lot picking up any objects that might have been left behind.   A tractor had been brought in to smooth out any ruts left by the equipment.

only lilac bush remains

Only lilac bush remains

   By 3:00 Friday,  all was completed.  Just in time for the week-end and a winter storm which dropped 8 inches of snow on Saturday.  Wow!!!   The good Lord was watching over us.  We are still on track with our schedule.  Once weather clears up next will be the tree trimmer and the surveyor on our list. … John and Evelyn

Next Blog – Tree trimmer, Surveyor, and OH YES… Mother Nature!

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