WEST COUNTY CHIEFS' ASSOCIATION


Dear Citizen,

As firefighters, our primary concern is to protect the lives andproperty of West County residents; as firefighters we regularlysee the devastation a fire can leave behind. The trauma ofexperiencing a fire, no matter how large or small, can only besurpassed by the confusion of what to do "once the fire is out"and the firefighters have left.

Once the fire is out, the damage becomes another complete taskand a statistic for us; however, for you the owner, it is anightmare filled with uncertainties that must be dealt withimmediately.

We at the Fire Departments understand what you are going throughand want to assist you in any way we can. We have madeavailable to you this booklet which includes information andsuggestions that may help you now and through the coming days. This information has been compiled from various governmentalagencies.

If there is anything we can help you with - Please don'thesitate to call us.

Kenneth J. Kovacs, President
West County Chiefs' Association

A.F. Dobler Hose & Ladder Company * Albion Fire Department
Cranesville Volunteer Fire Department * Lake City Fire Company
Platea Volunteer Fire Department * Springfield Volunteer Fire Department


AFTER THE FIRE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Cautions
  2. Securing the site
  3. Assistance
  4. If you must leave
  5. INSURANCE
  6. MONEY REPLACEMENT
  7. RECORDS AND DOCUMENTS
  8. SALVAGE HINTS
  9. Walls and Ceilings
  10. Wood Furniture
  11. Wood and Vinyl Floors
  12. Carpets and Rugs
  13. Mattresses
  14. Locks, Hinges, small appliances
  15. Cooking Utensils
  16. Refrigerators and Freezers
  17. Food
  18. Clothing
  19. Leather and Books
  20. ABOUT OUR OPERTION
  21. TELEPHONE DIRECTORY
  22. FIRE DEPARTMENT ADDRESSES AND PHONE NUMBERS

AFTER THE FIRE... A Time of Decision:

BE SURE TO NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE AGENT/COMPANY AS SOON ASPOSSIBLE!

1. Cautions:


2. SECURING THE SITE:


3. ASSISTANCE:


4. IF YOU MUST LEAVE:

This may be your decision or that of the Fire Department orbuilding inspector that the building is unsafe. If you mustleave:


5. INSURANCE:

INSURED

The first thing to do after a fire, is to contact your insurancecompany or agent as soon as possible. If you are renting theproperty, you must also contact the owner. Your insurance agentmay be able to help you in making immediate repairs or help insecuring your home. If you cannot reach your agent and needprofessional assistance in boarding up your home, a generalcontractor or a fire damage restoration firm can be veryhelpful. Check the yellow pages for such assistance.

Remove as many valuables as possible if you must stay elsewhere. Be sure to inventory the property you remove. Also check forimportant papers which may have been damaged.

UNINSURED

If your property is not insured or if your insurance will notcover all your losses, contact your family lawyer. You may haveto depend on your own resources and help from other agencies torecover your losses.

Check with the AMERICAN RED CROSS or SALVATION ARMY, localchurch groups or civic organizations such as ROTARY, EXCHANGE,or LIONS CLUB for assistance.

Some losses due to fire are tax deductible for your federalincome tax. Be sure to keep receipts of money spent for repairsor replacing damaged property and in covering your livingexpenses. These receipts will be helpful in calculating theloss for your yearly tax return. Check with your local InternalRevenue Service office for PUBLICATION 547 TAX INFORMATION ONDISASTERS, CASUALTY LOSSES AND THEFTS. A quick refund ispossilbe if you file form 1045, APPLICATION FOR TENTATIVE REFUND- check with the I.R.S. first.

PERSONAL INJURY

If as the result of the fire, you, a friend, or a member of yourfamily is injured and the injuries require more than immediatefirst aid, contact your health insurance agent for furtherdirections.


6. MONEY REPLACEMENT:

PAPER CURRENCY

NOTE- Handle burned money as little as possible. Attempt toencase each bill or portion of bill in plastic wrap forpreservation.

If the money you've kept in your home is only half burned orless, you can check with your local commercial bank or take theremainder to the Federal Reserve Bank, or you can mail theremainder of the money (in plastic wrap) via First Class Mailto:

U.S. Treasury Dept.
Main Treasury Bldg.
Room 1123
Washington, D.C. 20220

COINS

Mutilated or melted coins can be taken to the Federal ReserveBank or mailed via First Class Registered mail to:

United States Mint
5th and Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19015

SAVINGS BONDS

If your U.S. Savings Bond(s) have been mutilated or destroyed,write to:

U.S. Treasury Dept.
Bureau of Loans and Currency
537 W. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60605
ATTN: Bond Consultant

Be sure to include name(s) and address on bonds, approximatedate or time period when purchased, denominations and number ofeach. period when purchased, denominations and number of each.


7. RECORDS AND DOCUMENTS:

Documents and records are very important to your well being andcan be damaged or destroyed as a result of a fire. For thisreason, the Fire Departments provide the following list ofrecords and documents that should be located and / or replaced. Locating these documents will speed up the process of recoveringfrom a fire.

 Item:

Who to Contact:

Auto Registration / Title

Any auto club, notary public, district magistrate, or Dept. of Motor Vehicles.

Bank Book / Check Book

Your Bank

Insurance Policies

Your Insurance Agent

 Military Discharge Papers

 Veterans Outreach & Assistance: 453-5719 or 1-800-352-0915

 Passports

 452 - 3333 Ext. 229

 Birth Certificates & Death Certificates

 Bureau of Vital Statistics: 871 - 4261

 Marriage license

  452 - 3333 Ext. 264

 Divorce Papers

 452 - 3333 Ext. 218

 Social Security Card

 452 - 2231

 Credit Cards

Issuing Company

Property Titles / Deeds

County Records Dept. 452 - 3333 Ext. 246

Stocks

Issuing Company or Broker

Wills

Your Lawyer

Prescriptions

Your Physician or Pharmacist

Warranties

Issuing Company

Income Tax Records

 1 - 800 - 424 - 1040

Citizenship Papers

 1 - 412 -644 - 3356

Welfare Papers / Foodstamps / Access Card

 Public Assistance Office 871 - 4441

 Aging and Adult Services

 459 - 4581

NOTE - It is wise to store all important documents and recordsin an approved container that is specifically designed for suchpurposes.


8. SALVAGE HINTS:

The following salvage information was furnished by the FireCenter of the University of Minnesota as reprinted by theFederal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. FireAdministration.

These hints are meant as an economical way to clean up orsalvage items after a small fire. Be sure to contact yourinsurance company to see exactly what they will cover. Alsoconsider taking pictures of the damage.

CAUTION!

Several of the cleaning mixtures contain the substanceTri-Sodium Phosphate. Tri-Sodium Phosphate is a causticsubstance used commonly as a cleaning agent. It should be usedwith care and stored out of the reach of children and pets. Itis recommended that you wear rubber gloves when using. Readinstructions before you start. (Tri-Sodium Phosphate can bepurchased at hardware or paint stores).


9. WALLS AND CEILINGS:

To remove soot and smoke from painted wall, mix 4 - 6tablespoons of tri-sodium phosphate and one gallon of water.

Wash a small area at a time - working from the floor up. Doceilings last. Rinse thoroughly. DO NOT REPAINT UNTILCOMPLETELY DRY! It is advisable that you use a smoke sealer(available at your local paint store) before painting.

Wallpapered walls usually cannot be restored. Check with awallpaper dealer.


10. WOOD FURNITURE:

Do not use chemicals on furniture. A very inexpensive productcalled FLAX SOAP (available in hardware and paint stores) is anefficient product to use on wood, including kitchen cabinets.

If you do not have Flax Soap:


11. WOOD AND VINYL FLOORS:

Use Flax soap on wood and vinyl floors. It will take 4 to 5applications. Then strip and rewax. When water gets underneathlinoleum, it can cause odors and warp the floor. If this hashappened - remove your linoleum. Call your linoleum dealer forsuggestions on how to loosen the adhesive without damaging thefloor covering. Be sure to let the floor dry thoroughly beforereplacing it.


12. CARPETS AND RUGS:

Rugs and carpets should be allowed to dry thoroughly. Throwrugs can be cleaned by beating, sweeping, or vaccuming, and thenshampooing. Rugs should be dried as quickly as possible. Laythem flat and expose them to circulation of warm, dry air. Afan turned on the rugs will speed drying. Make sure the rugsare thoroughly dry. Even though the surface seems dry, moistureremaining at the base of the tufts can quickly rot a rug. Formore information on cleaning and preserving carpets, call yourcarpet dealer.


13. MATTRESSES:

Reconditioning an innerspring mattress at home is nearlyimpossible. Your mattress can probably be renovated by acompany that builds or repairs them.

If you must use your mattress temporarily, put it out in the sunto dry, then cover it with plastic sheeting. It is impossibleto remove the odor of smoke out of pillows. The foam andfeathers hold the odor in.


14. LOCKS, HINGES, TYPEWRITERS, SEWING MACHINES, AND OTHER SMALLAPPLIANCES:

Steam from a fire removes lubrication from these items. Theyshould be taken apart, and oiled. It is suggested that theseitems be taken to a repair shop. If locks cannot be removed,squirt machine oil through a bolt opening or keyhole and workthe knob to distribute the oil. Hinges should also be cleanedand oiled.


15. COOKING UTENSILS:

Your pots, pans, flatware, etc., should be washed with a finepowdered cleanser. You can polish copper and brass with specialpolish, or salt sprinkled on a cloth saturated in vinegar.


16. REFRIGERATORS AND FREEZERS:

To remove odors from yourrefrigerator or freezer, wash the inside with a solution ofbaking soda and water or a cup of vinegar or ammonia to onegallon of water. Some baking soda in an open container, or apiece of charcoal can be placed in the refrigerator or freezerto absorb water.

CAUTION!

When cleaning or discarding any refrigerator or freezer be surethe doors are removed or secured against closing on a youngchild!


17. FOOD:

If your freezer has stopped running, you can still save thefrozen food:

If your food has thawed, observe the following procedures:


18. CLOTHING:

Smoke odor and soot can sometimes be washed from clothing. Thefollowing formula will often work for clothing that can bebleached:

Add 4-6 teaspoons trisodium phosphate and 1 cup Lysol (or any housholdcleaning bleach) to 1 gallon of warm water. Mix well, add clothes, rinse with clean water, and dry well.

To remove mildew, wash the fresh stain with soap and water. Then rinse and dry in the sun. If the stain isn't gone, uselemon juice and salt, or a diluted solution of chlorine bleach.

TEST COLORED GARMENTS BEFORE USING ANY TREATMENT!

Take wool, silk, or rayon garmments to the dry cleaners as soonas possible.


19. LEATHER AND BOOKS:

Wipe your leather goods with a damp cloth, then with a drycloth. Stuff your purses and shoes with newspapers to retaintheir shape. Leave your suitcases open. Leather goods shouldbe dried away from heat and sun. When leather goods are dry,clean with saddle soap. You can use steel wool or a suede brushon suede. Rinse leather and suede jackets in cold water and dryaway from heat and sun.

Books can be dried by placing them on end with pages seperated. Then they should be piled and pressed to prevent the pages fromcrinkling. Alternating drying and pressing will help preventmildew from forming, until the books are thoroughly dry. Ifyour books are very damp, sprinkle cornstarch or talc betweenthe pages, leave for several hours, then brush off. A fanturned on the books will help them dry.


20. ABOUT OUR OPERATIONS:

Here are a few common questions people have about ouroperations.

1. WHY ARE WINDOWS BROKEN OR HOLES CUT IN THE ROOF?

As a fire burns, it moves upward then outward. Breaking thewindows and / or cutting holes in the roof (calledventilation) stops that damaging outward movement andenables the firefighters to fight the fire more efficiently,resulting in less damage to the structure in the long run.

2. WHY DO WE CUT HOLES IN WALLS?

We have to be absolutely sure that the fire is completely out,and that there is no fire inside the walls or other hiddenplaces. We will do the least amount of damage necessary toinsure everything is safe.

3. IS IT POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN A COPY OF THE FIRE REPORT?

Yes. A fire report is a public document and is available at your local fire department listed on the last page.

If you have any questions or comments about any part of ouroperations, call your local fire department.


21. TELEPHONE DIRECTORY:

 Agency: Telephone Number
American Red Cross (Albion) 756-4344
American Red Cross (Girard, Lake City, Platea, Springfield) 774-5691
Building Permits - Albion 756-3660
Building Permits - Cranesville 756-4477
Building Permits - Conneaut Township 756-4301
Building Permits - Elk Creek Township 756-3268
Building Permits - Girard Borough 774-9683
Building Permits - Girard Township 774-4738
Building Permits - Lake City Borough 774-2116
Building Permits - Springfield Township 922-3274
Internal Revenue Service 1-800-424-1040
Salvation Army 456-4237
Telephone Utility - Alltel (Albion, Cranesville, Springfield) 1-412-327-6111
Telephone Utility - GTE (Girard, Lake City, Platea) 453-7751
National Fuel Gas 871-8400
Penelec 864-4011
Girard Borough Electric 774-9683
Cable TV - TCI of NW PA (Girard & Lake City) 899-0625
Cable TV - Albion Borough 756-4915
Water Dept - Albion Borough 756-3019
Water Dept - Cranesville Borough 756-4477
Water Dept - Girard Borough 774-9683
Water Dept - Lake City Borough 774-2116


22. Fire Department Names and Addresses:

A.F. DOBLER HOSE & LADDER COMPANY
12 Mechanic St.
Girard, Pa 16417
Station phone: 774-8218

ALBION FIRE DEPARTMENT
19 Franklin St.
Albion, Pa 16401
Station phone: 756-4210

CRANESVILLE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
North Meadville St.
Cranesville, Pa 16410
Station phone: 756-3441

LAKE CITY FIRE COMPANY
2232 Rice Ave.
Lake City, Pa 16423
Station phone: 774-4402

PLATEA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
Maple Ave
Platea, PA 16417
Station phone: 774-8473

SPRINGFIELD VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
11959 Main St.
East Springfield, Pa 16411
Station phone: 922-3595




Presented as a Public Service by

THE ALBION NEWS

in Cooperation with

The West County Chiefs' Association


This document originally prepared by Tina M. Littell & Micheal H. McCabe, December 1986-January 1987. Adapted to HTML by Micheal McCabe in June 1994.Last revised January 2000.