BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Even with precaution and planning, a fire can still happen at any time. That’s what happened to Ron Drane’s family in Bloomington.
“We’re still beginning the process of putting in various damages,” said Drane.
On January 26, a fire raged through Drane’s garage. The heated surprise happened on a snowy Thursday afternoon that he was spending with his family.
“We ate some food, I went downstairs to the basement to watch movies and I heard my wife yell ‘fire,” said Drane. “I was kind of stunned for a second, I heard her scream, ran up stairs and she opened the door from the mudroom to the garage and I just saw a wall of fire wrapping around the door.”
Drane said his family had insurance but he did not expect the restoration process to take as long as it did. There were multiple conversations with the mortgage company, the car insurance company, the home insurance company and the restoration company.
“First we were in a hotel over night, the next day I thought well since this is a garage, you know I showed up with the restoration company and the insurance company, I thought they’re going to fix the garage and they’ll tell me when I can get back in the house maybe in a couple of weeks,” Drane said. “It became obvious, they said, ‘No it’s going to take three to four months and here’s what we need to do and we’re backed up two to three months.'”
Two cars were destroyed in the fire and smoke got into the HVAC system. The total cost of damages and restoration was more than $300,000. Drane’s family was displaced for eight months after the fire and had to rent an apartment. They just moved back home in September. He said his family would not have been able to recover if they did not have insurance.
“Without insurance that’s a financial burden I don’t think most people can fix on their own,” Drane said.
Drane emphasized the need to have important documents such as birth certificates in a fire proof box.
“If we had not been able to locate that stuff or it had been damages that would have made life much more difficult,” said Drane.
After this experience Drane also encourages people to have a smoke detector in their garage.
“We did not have a smoke detector in the garage. And if we hadn’t been home, we would not have known the fire was going,” said Drane. “It hadn’t come in enough for the smoke detectors to go off. So, I think it would have been much worse any probably harder on us to get out if we had waited for the smoke detector to go off.”
Drane said it is imperative for people to have an escape plan for emergencies.
“I don’t think you have much time before the fire alarm goes off to get out. You need to have ways out, know how you’re going to get out before something happens,” he said.