Get here quick, your house is on fire

Home RestoredWorking together in the restoration of the historic home at 124 Main Street North in Fayetteville, following a fire there in October, have been (from left) Jamiah and her mom Alesia Sanders, along with De’Quan Franklin, all of Personal Touch; Kenneth Jones, a local contractor; Jim Malone, owner; and David Sanders, also of Personal Touch.
Staff photo by Lucy Williams

Original story can be found at Elk Valley Times

A Fayetteville businessman is thanking city firefighters for their quick response and several local businesses and contractors for their assistance in the cleanup, restoration and repair of his historic home on North Main Avenue.

“‘Get here quick, your house is on fire’ is not the start of a conversation you like to hear,” said Jim Malone of The Malone Co., a firm that offers employee benefit plans, recalling the date Oct. 23 when he and a friend, Don Counts, were having lunch at LaFuente and received a call that his house, which also serves as his business, was on fire. “Don and I always look forward to sharing a meal together. This day was no different until Teresa called and told me the news. ‘But we think Emma and I have got it put out’ made me feel better, but just the same, we quickly paid and took off to check what happened.”

On the way, Jim called, learning that two fire engines were already at his home.

“When Don and I pulled up, there were firemen in every room of our house,” he continued. “I have always had a lot of respect for firemen, but watching them work as a team made me respect them more. Coby Moon and his team quickly double-checked everything to make sure all the fire was gone.

“The problem was smoke and more smoke. I cannot believe how quickly smoke can fill a home. Thank you, Coby, Chief Travis and all the firemen that helped that day. You are the best.”

The fire had been quickly extinguished, but left in its wake was extensive smoke damage. While the fire department was still here, Samantha McFerrin, Paul and Jack Richardson of Richardson & Son Real Estate and Insurance started the process of phoning in the claim – “Talk about great service,” said Malone. “They have been fantastic in helping with the claim process and follow up. And Farmers Insurance has been great to work with, too. Thank you all for exceptional service.”

By nine o’clock the next morning, Amelia Taylor of Summit Fire and Safety Equipment had gotten Jim a “loaner” fire extinguisher and picked up the extinguisher Teresa and Emma had used to put the fire out.

“If you don’t know Amelia, she is the best in keeping our fire extinguishers up to date and in good shape,” he said. “We’re glad she is helping keep us safe.”

The home business had two commercial fire extinguishers and just a month earlier had practiced using them. The extinguisher and knowing how to use it, saved the home, said Jim. “As I have told everyone since our fire, you need at least one and you need to know how to use it. To the quick thinking of Teresa and Emma and knowing how to use one made the difference,” he said, adding, “I’d like to thank both of them – they’re the best!”

Having never had an experience like this, Jim said he leaned on contacts and knowing people, explaining that he was told by the adjuster at Farmer’s to get bids and start the cleanup and repair.

“Never having to worry about the advice from Richardson Insurance, I asked Paul who is the best for cleanup,” he continued. “He told me of two, one out was of town and the other was Personal Touch here in Fayetteville. Not knowing David Sanders well but knowing of his reputation, I quickly picked David and his team.”

David and his company, Personal Touch Carpet Care and Restoration Specialists, responded the day Jim called.

“It was really an honor to work on such an historic home,” David said, noting that having been in business for 32 years, he believes in treating customers right. “We had to wait a day and a half to begin the process of pushing the smoke and smell out of the house, purifying the air, cleaning the walls, carpet, hardwood floors, rugs and insulation … We took special care with all of it, even the tongue and groove in the attic. The particles of soot had covered everything.”

Personal Touch was definitely the best choice, Jim said, going on to add that David and his team – wife Alesia, daughter Jamiah, sister Rhonda, and team member De’Quan Franklin – have done an outstanding job of cleaning everything.

“David has also been great help in advising what to do and how to do it,” Jim said. “He has made suggestions that I would have never thought of, like pressure washing. He advised me to get someone to clean up the outside of my house, and why? On a closer look, I could see where smoke had come out around all of the windows.”

Askins his son, Tull Malone, who was the best, Jim got the suggestion of Logan Ogle. Again, recommendations from someone you trust works, he said. “Logan did a great job, I would recommend him anytime.

“Also, I can always depend on Kenneth Jones,” said Jim, noting that Kenneth and his son, Kevin, updated and remodeled his home several years ago. “I kid Kenneth and tell him he is old and slow, but not really because he and I are the same age. You can see Kenneth thinking of how to do it the best while trying to save money at the same time … Thank you, Kenneth, for your good work and friendship.”

In the interim of the cleanup, restoration and repairs, Jim said he also appreciated their “home away from home,” the Hampton Inn, and their hospitality – “Everyone there was great and the best breakfast in the world,” he said, expressing his appreciation for making them so comfortable.

“All in all, this has been an experience that you don’t want to repeat, but knowing that the people here in Fayetteville are the best at their jobs and truly want to help makes a huge difference,” he said. “Thank you to all the team members that are helping return our home to normal. Special thanks to you, David Sanders, for your great job, being a new friend and for being a great team captain.

“I love living in Fayetteville, Lincoln County, Tennessee, and would not want to live anywhere else,” he added.