Well, I don't know how you all spent your holiday weekend, but I spent the last hour of mine and the first hour of the next day standing in the street with all of my neighbors and the D.C. fire department after running down 11 flights of stairs.  The apartment one floor down and one floor over had a smoldering electrical fire from an overloaded outlet. My apartment is fine, though it was a bit smokey when we got let back in, and even my neighbor directly over the fire is OK with the same caveat, although they had to break the lock off his door to get in to make sure nothing was burning. But the apartment with the fire is a total loss, and the tenth floor and the stairwells really stink.  Today I'm coughing, wonder why?
Peanut freaked out going down the stairs...he doesn't like lots of people anyway and especially people walking noisily behind him, but he kept going and we got outside quickly enough. Then we had to stand away from all the activity so he could relax a bit. But he was OK later.

Probably going to have to have the furniture and walls professionally cleaned, but other than that things seem to be OK clothes don't smell smoky so probably just laundering them will be enough.  No soot, unlike last time (Labor Day, 2001), when we had to have the carpet, blinds, and a lot of the furniture replaced because it turned out to be impossible to get the smoke smell out of them (or the soot off the blinds). (The fire wasn't in our unit, but the windows were open that day and the wind patterns resulted in this apartment getting more smoke damage than any other. You can still see soot on the outside of the building where the air currents brought it to our window.)
Insurance agent offers hint that vaseline will take the soot stain/odor off of anything that wouldn't be damaged by vaseline, just coat it and wipe it off.  I can't think of a single think I own that wouldn't be hurt worse by the vaseline than the soot.  Luckily I don't have to put this to the test.
Definitely hope your weekends were better!

Kevin Michael Vail    > I would rather have a mind opened by wonder (Email Removed)      > than one closed by belief.   Gerry Spence
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That must have been very scary. I would definitely move, and I would never live any higher than the third floor.
I would never live any higher than the third floor.

Because, of course, it's a known fact that fires never happen on the first three floors of a building.
Anyway, I imagine it might not be easy to find an apartment that would suit your criteria in a large city.

Shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
My apartment is fine, though it was a bit smokey when we got let back in, and even my neighbor ... caveat, although they had to break the lock off his door to get in to make sure nothing was burning.

Poor Peanut, and poor you! That is pretty sucky.
Insurance agent offers hint that vaseline will take the soot stain/odor off of anything that wouldn't be damaged by vaseline, ... wouldn't be hurt worse by the vaseline than the soot. Luckily I don't have to put this to the test.

Eeew!
I expect you'll get tired of people's advice, but I'm going to offer some anyway. For washable fabrics, add 1/2 to 1 cup of ammonia to each washer load. Nothing, and I mean nothing, takes out odor as well as ammonia. And I mean takes out, not covers up. Clothes come out of the washer smelling sweet, and not a bit like ammonia.

For environmental smoke smell, an ozone generating air purifier works extremely well. So does washing hard surfaces with a mild solution of water and ammonia.

Shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
I would never live any higher than the third floor.

Because, of course, it's a known fact that fires never happen on the first three floors of a building. Anyway, ... apartment that would suit your criteria in a large city. Shelly http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship) http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)==

Well, that apartment complex had two fires since 01, (kind of risky living there) and if I have to live in an apartment building, I want to know the ladder will reach my apartment window, and that I can exit quickly on my own down the stairway, if necessary. I don't want to be forced into leaping from the 11th floor when trapped by smoke.
Well, that apartment complex had two fires since 01,

Did it? Maybe it did, but I don't think Kevin explicitly stated that it was the same complex.
R.I.F.

Shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
Well, that apartment complex had two fires since 01,

Did it? Maybe it did, but I don't think Kevin explicitly stated that it was the same complex.

Or, even, that either apartment is in a complex.

Shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
Did it? Maybe it did, but I don't think Kevin explicitly stated that it was the same complex.

Or, even, that either apartment is in a complex.

It's a high-rise, and a historic one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairo Apartment Building

I understand pfoley's remark to refer to the ability to escape rather than the susceptability to fires (I've heard similar from a lot of people even when there are no fires, including from a person in California who would never live that high because of earthquakes), but everyone has their own ideas about types of places they would never live, for whatever reason.
Both fires here were caused by people doing stupid things with electricity (the first time, running cords under carpets; this time, apparently overloading an electrical outlet (I haven't heard the "official" story yet)). Unfortunately, stupid people and electricity can be found in most locations in this country. I've either lived in this building or maintained contact with people who do since 1988, and these are the only two times we've had problems. Both times, the major damage was limited to the single apartment with the fire.

The thing that really worries me is that if it had happened forty-five minutes earlier, Peanut would have been home alone and I would not have been able to go get him.

Kevin Michael Vail > a billion stars go spinning through the night, (Email Removed)   > blazing high above your head. . . . . . . . . . > But in you is the presence that . . . . . . . .  > will be, when all the stars are dead. . . . . . . . . . >     (Rainer Maria Rilke)
I expect you'll get tired of people's advice, but I'm going to offer some anyway. For washable fabrics, add 1/2 ... mean takes out, not covers up. Clothes come out of the washer smelling sweet, and not a bit like ammonia.

Thanks, I will remember this one. Actually no one other than the insurance agent has offered much advice so far.
For environmental smoke smell, an ozone generating air purifier works extremely well. So does washing hard surfaces with a mild solution of water and ammonia.

And this one. I've been thinking about OGAP anyway (my mother has one and loves it) so maybe this will incent me to go buy one.
boss, sometimes i think           >  kevin michael vail that our friend mehitabel         >  (Email Removed) is a trifle too gay               >
archy                  >  wotthehell wotthehell
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