In Case of Fire

When fire damages or destroys your home it can be personally devastating. The information provided here is the type of information that can help you during your time of recovery from this loss.

Immediate Aide for Burnout victims in Alachua County

If your residence is uninhabitable due to fire or smoke damage, there are a number of organizations which offer temporary assistance. Some of These are:

American Red Cross
605 NW 53rd Avenue
Gainesville, Fl 32605

Offers shelter, food and clothing

Salvation Army
639 East University Avenue
Gainesville, Fl 32601/

Offers food, clothing, and a limited amount of furniture

In Case of Fire

If fire occurs, your quick action can increase the chances that your property can be successfully restored. Help is available from the agencies above, and your insurance representative.

If your are NOT insured

If your are not insured, your recovery from a fire loss will be based upon your own recourses and help from your community.

Private organizations that help with disasters, include those listed above. Your church or synagogue can put you in touch with your denomination's helping group. Local civic groups such as a Lion's Club International, and the Rotarians may be sources of aid.

Check with your state and municipal emergency services office or the state department of social services for information on what may be sources of aid.

Losses due to fire are deductible from your Federal Income tax. Get receipts and keep records of the money you spend repairing or replacing damaged property, and living expenses during the loss recovery period (Check Publication 547, Tax Information on Disasters, Casualty Losses and Thefts)

If you have Insurance

Your insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurer. The insurer promises he will do certain things for you. In turn, you will have certain obligations. Among your duties after a fire loss are to:

Give immediate notice of the loss to the insurance company or agent.

Protect the property from further damage by making reasonable repairs such as covering holes in the roof and walls.

Make an inventory of damaged personal property. (include amount of damage they sustained and how much it would cost to replace them.)

Cooperate with the insurer or his adjuster by exhibiting the damaged property.

Submit within a stated time period, a formal statement of loss. Include:

  1. Time and cause of fire.
  2. The names and addresses of those interested in your property. (include mortgage holders, divorced spouse, ect.)
  3. Building plans (include additions to the home)
  4. The damaged inventory mentioned above.
  5. Receipts for the additional living expenses and loss of use claims.
Total Cost of a Fire

The total cost of a fire may be far-reaching. There are the obvious financial losses of the damaged structure and contents. These are formally known as the first fire losses. There are the less obvious financial effects such as the cost of temporary living arrangements, or lost income due to time lost from your job. These are called indirect fire losses. Both direct and indirect fire loss may be covered by insurance.

In Case of Personal Injury

In the event that you, a friend or a member of your family is injured as a result of a fire, you shuould follow certain procedures if the injury required more than immediate first aid. Contact your employer, if you have a company health insurance policy, or your insurance company, if it is a personal policy. Portions of home-owner package policies provide limited medical coverage for persons who are injured on your property and are not members of your immediate family. A package home-owner policy may also cover you for a liability suit brought against you as a result of a fire. Contact your agent for more information.

In the event of a short or long term disability resulting from the fire, contact your employer, human resources department or insurance representative to find out if you have the benefits available to you. Some states provide benefits which supplement private insurance coverage. Social Security provides to those suffering long-term disabilities.

Money Replacement

Handle burned money as little as possible. Attempt to encase each bill or portion of a bill in plastic wrap for preservation. If money is only half-burned or less, you can take the remains to your local Federal Reserve bank for replacement. Ask your personal bank for the nearest one. In addition, you can mail the burned or torn money via FIRST CLASS REGISTERED MAIL to:

U.S. Treasury Department
Main Treasury Building, Room 1123
Washington, DC 20220


For Saving Bond Department:

U.S Treasury Department
Bureau of Public Debt.
Division of Loans and Currency
537 South Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Attn. Bond Consultant

Dear Citizen:

We of the Alachua County Fire/Rescue Department hope that the use of this information never becomes necessary. But, in the unfortunate that you experience a fire, we also hope that this information will aid you in the restoration of your normal. Life-style.

The trauma of a fire itself is only surpassed by the shock of realization that comes afterward with the cleanup, repair and replacement.

Broken windows, holes in walls, tarnished appliances and smoked clothes are the physical evidence of an often confusing situation.

Property owners may be deluged with incorrect information from well-meaning friends, or have no information at all on where to begin.

The above information will hopefully help you return to normalcy. If you have any further questions, or need further assistance, please feel free to call your Fire Administration Office at 384-3101.


Will G. May, Emergency Services Director