July 24th, 2008 by Ryan J. Smith
|Location:||Rush City, MN|
|Home Type:||Single Family Modular|
|Date of Fire:||August 27, 2007|
|Damage:||Total Loss $407,000|
Last year, on August 27, 2007, the Jungels family had their lives change forever. Around 10:30 am, Eric and Lil Jungels’ 14-year-old son was filling the lawn mower with gasoline in the garage and accidentally dripped gas on a frayed electrical cord. A large rug quickly ignited, and the fire rapidly spread through the house. Fortunately, both the Jungels’ young teenage children in the home were able to escape, as well as their three dogs. However, the fire destroyed the house and the Jungels lost everything they owned.
Ironically, Eric and Lil both work in the fire sprinkler industry helping others protect their buildings from fire. As parents of five children they enjoyed the constant protection of a residential fire sprinkler system in their first home together. But, when it came time to move into their next home, the fire protection they had grown accustomed to was no longer there…and unfortunately, in hindsight, this was the home that needed it the most.
The Jungels live in a rural area, about seven miles from the nearest town. Once they lost electricity due to the fire, they also lost any access to water on site from their well. With the high winds that day, the Rush City, MN Fire Department and three additional supporting fire departments could not save the house.
The Jungels’ house was a one story Rambler style modular home with a full finished basement. It was built in 2006 by Friendship Homes of Minnesota and had a finished square footage of 4,200 sq. ft. At the time of the fire, the home had working smoke detectors but no residential fire sprinklers or centrally monitored fire alarm system. The home was also lacking an automatic closing door and fireproof sheetrock between the attached garage and the home, allowing the flames to quickly spread from the garage to the interior of the home.
With the total loss of their home, the property damage was estimated at $249,270. The loss of their personal property came to $157,730. Fortunately, homeowner’s insurance covered the losses as expected, but that could never restore to the Jungels the many irreplaceable possessions that were destroyed. Eric reported that they lost family and vacation photo albums, five children’s memory boxes, Lions’ awards, class rings and family jewelry, several painstakingly gathered collections (katanas/knives/swords, beer steins, coins, and zebras), handmade arts, crafts, quilts and special Christmas items that had been gathered over the years. No amount of money could restore these unique and memory filled possessions.
The disruption of the Jungels’ lives continued after the fire. For four months they were displaced from their home. They rebuilt their home on the same site—this time making sure that residential fire sprinklers were installed. Eric is clear about how the fire changed his view of home fire safety. It opened his eyes to the potential areas fires can start. A few important construction differences, such as fireproof sheetrock between the house and garage and an automatic closing garage service door, can significantly slow a fire. He shares, “Fire can destroy everything you have worked your life to build and develop, in as little as three hours.” Fortunately, with a new home protected by fire sprinklers, they can rebuild their lives in confidence that their new memories and valuables will be protected.
View the details and photos of the Jungels’ new residential fire sprinkler system.
Have you experienced a fire in your home? If yes, we would like to know about it and feature you and your experience in a case study. Download the “Home Fire Loss Questionnaire”, answer the questions and return the completed questionnaire as indicated. We will use the information provided to publish a case study sharing your story so that other individuals and families can become more aware of home fire safety and take appropriate precautions.
This entry was posted on Thursday, July 24th, 2008 at 11:56 am and is filed under Blog, Case Studies, Home Fire Loss. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.