Fire Restoration Fund

In the early morning hours of March 3, 2019 a passing driver noticed smoke coming from my (fortunately) unoccupied home and called it in. The home I had worked so hard on renovating over the last year and a half to move me and my 70 year old mom into had caught fire. Thanks to this Good Samaritan and the quick action of the Fitchburg Fire Department who responded in mere minutes, the structure was saved and is intact. However (and it’s a big however) as the house was under construction and unoccupied, it wasn’t covered under a typical homeowners policy and the insurance therefore is not much. While I cannot say enough about how much care @Foremost/@WeAreFarmers places on dealing with the human element of a crisis and how wonderful they’ve been, we were literally just a few days away from finishing and the damage is EXTENSIVE and throughout. So, in addition to having just spent a ton of money on the renovation, and accruing a fair amount of debt in the process, there is a significant gap between what it will cost to repair and how much money I will have. I essentially now need to redo almost everything I’ve just done, with far less money. While we are ever so fortunate to have no one hurt and the building structurally intact, we now have to gut most if not all walls back down to the studs. Carpeting and insulation needs to be ripped out and everything replaced. The electrical wiring will need to be redone, the plumbing has to be inspected for failure points (I’m praying it’s intact), brand new finishings, fixtures and appliances are toast. The knotted pine I worked so hard to restore is a goner. (Minor point, but still a sore one.) The list goes on. The fire was of a high intensity heat and caused a lot of melting and significant soot and smoke damage throughout. There’s water damage on all three levels from the hoses. While I will be receiving the maximum under my policy, the insurance company estimates that my coverage is some 83k dollars short of what it will cost to repair the house. Now I don’t intent to spend nearly that much, but the money just won’t add up no matter which way I size it and I am going to have to make sure that every penny is wisely spent. Add to this the time constraints and conditions of our current residence, the pressure is on for mum and I to move. So, with all this in mind, and very contrary to my father’s wishes, but especially because I’ve already burdened him immensely, I am asking for your help. 

Part of me is a little ashamed to be writing this. Part of me is not. I think most people know that I’m usually at the front lines when there is a need to be filled. I’m stuck in a mire of muck right now and I need you, beautiful people. I’ve spent greater than a year and a half handling every detail of this renovation for the most part alone. I’m tired. At times I’m sad. Above all, I’m thankful for my blessings. But I’m only human. 

Much love,

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Joanna Karamanou
Fitchburg, MA

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