What To Do After a Fire
Tips from the El Dorado County Fire District
The information on the page was paraphrased from an excellent page on the El Dorado Fire District website. Please see the entire contents by selecting the link.
The trauma of experiencing a fire, no matter how large or small, can only be surpassed by the confusion of “what to do once the fire is out” and the firefighters have left.
We at the El Dorado County Fire Protection District understand what you are going through and want to assist you all we can. If there is anything we can help you with please call us at 530-644-9630.
Be sure to notify your insurance company/agent as soon as possible
Contact local disaster relief services such as the American Red Cross or the salvation army, if you are in need of temporary housing, food, eyeglasses or medicines destroyed in the fire. Emergency relief is given without regard to income.
Keep in mind that fire can rekindle from hidden, smoldering remains. You will not be able to return to your home until you are notified that it is safe.
If you may be out of your building for an extended period of time, notify the following of your relocation:
- Post office to hold or forward your mail to new address
- Your bank
- Your employer
- Family and friends
- Utility companies
- Social security administration
- Insurance agent/company
- Fire department-if the fire is under investigation
- Delivery services; newspaper, etc.
Contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. If you are renting the property, you should contact the owner. Mobile Home insurance coverage is similar to other forms of homeowners coverage. Check with your agent for your coverage.
If your property is not insured or if your insurance will not cover all your losses, contact your family lawyer. You may have to depend on your own resources and help from other agencies to recover your fire loss. Check with the American Red Cross or Salvation Army, local church groups or civic organizations for assistance.
Some losses due to fire may be tax deductible on your federal income tax. Be sure to keep receipts of money spent for repairs or replacing damaged property and in covering your living expenses.
Check with your local internal revenue service office for publication 547; Tax information on disasters, casualty losses and thefts. A quick refund may be possible if you file the proper forms.
See the website for advice about replacing mutilated or destroyed paper money, coins, and savings bonds. Note: handle burned money as little as possible.
If your home’s contents are salvageable, be sure to check the website for suggestions. The website includes advice about cleaning or salvaging windows, ceiling, wood furniture, wood and vinyl floors, carpet, small appliances, mattresses, refrigerators, food, clothing, books, etc.
Be sure to contact your insurance company to see exactly what they will cover. Also, consider taking pictures of the damage.
Records and Documents
Documents and records are very important to your well being and can be damaged or destroyed as a result of a fire. For this reason, the El Dorado County Fire Protection District provides the following list of records and documents that should be located and/or replaced. Locating these documents will speed up the process of recovering from a fire.
El Dorado County Telephone Directory