Asking for help surprisingly doesn't come easily to me. I have a tendency of wanting to do everything myself, and make sure it is done right - and with being an independent musician, this is a good trait to possess. However, you never quite plan for the catastrophic events that come your way in life, which are sometimes too much for someone to handle all on their own.
My girlfriend, Susy, who is also a full-time musician in Seattle, goes under the stage name Susy Sun. We used to own a beautiful little kitten named, Mendelssohn, but he passed away on January 4th, 2015 in a horrific fire that severely disrupted Susy and my little musical world.
On January 4th, Susy and myself were flying back up from San Francisco, CA, after spending New Years with my relatives in San Rafael. We had felt like we had earned ourselves a mini vacation after a big year of touring, releasing music, and recording. We were happy with the middle-class musician modest living we had earned for ourselves.
Our flight back had a layover in Salt Lake City around 5:00 PM. When we landed in Utah, I had a ton of missed calls, and voice messages from my neighbor, my landlord, and some random numbers I didn't recognize. When I called back my neighbor to figure out what was going on - I wasn't prepared for what I heard.
I was told that Mendelssohn our cat had died, and that there was a terrible fire in our apartment. I spoke with a fire marshall who said that the fire originated in the bedroom and that it was a 'dirty fire.' The carpet caught fire, which then ignited the bed, the drapes, and everything else in that corner of the room. Unfortunately the drapes had rubber covering on one side (to help keep the heat in because of unweatherized windows), and burned and released a lot of noxious fumes into the apartment, and the smoke damage from all of this was extensive. Poor Mendelssohn had passed away from smoke inhalation.
The fire was an electrical malfunction, which supposedly originated from a really old floorboard heater - the apartment was built back in 1963. While Susy and I were gone, we had turned off the heaters, so it just was some freak event.
Thankfully, we were covered by renters insurance... HOWEVER that amount also covers paying the cleaning crews, the inventory of stuff we want to try and re-claim, storage, renting a cargo van, etc. etc. The insurance company, and all these third party companies nickel and dime you, until you don't really have a lot left to reclaim all your destroyed goods. So Susy and I had to do our own inventory for EVERY SINGLE THING in the apartment - from make up, to smoke poisoned food, to dead plants, to burnt out clothes, to all of our kittens old toys... This was a really difficult and emotionally trying part of all of this..... walking into our burnt out apartment day after day, felt like descending into a coal mine, pulling out blackened, and dead pieces of our old life. Smoke damage is under-rated on how devastating it can really be.....
At this point we guesstimate we have lost around 90% of all our belongings including: Susy's piano, Susy's albums, our bed, all electronics in the apartment (a macbook pro laptop, ipad, etc.), books, art, family heirlooms, quite a bit of my music gear (PA system, guitar pedals, sheet music, musical scores, etc.), 85% of our clothing, and all of our furniture in the apartment is unsalvageable. Our Xmas presents also went up in smoke. We know we are going to go over the coverage, but are not sure by how much, and that terrifies us.
That is where everything stands at this point. Since Susy and I are both freelance full-time musicians, this ordeal has made it impossible for us to work.
We are thankful for all the support from our friends, family, and community. A lot of people wanted to know how they could help us - and donations through a site such as this would be the easiest way for us to get back on our feet.
Asking for help surprisingly doesn't come easily to us. But in this moment, we really need it.
Susy & Andrew
- Dustin Peskuric
- Kristi Leksen
- Lauren Foster
- Sarah Gerritsen
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