Fire Recovery FAQ

Complete chaos. Devastation. Confusion. Those are just some of the thoughts and emotions that someone can experience when they are the victim of a house fire or other large loss. There are so many questions running through their minds and it’s important to understand what to prioritize and what the next days, weeks, and months will bring. We hope this will assist property damage victims in getting started on the road to recovery.

My home has been severely damaged by a fire. What do I do now?

  • Address immediate concerns
    • Is everyone okay?
    • Where are we going to stay?
      • Options include neighbors/friends/family, hotel, Red Cross assistance
      • Make sure you have basic toiletries – we can provide this for you! In addition, take clean clothes and important documents before you leave
    • When can I walk through my house?
      • You may enter your home when the scene has been cleared by the Fire Marshals with the exception of the source area of the fire
      • Your insurance company will also be doing a Cause and Origin (C&O)investigation. The source area will be off limits until all parties (Fire Department and Insurance) have cleared that particular area
  • Helpful Information to Collect
    • Responding fire department
      • Fire Marshal Name and contact information
    • Your insurance company
      • Insurance company claims phone number
      • Your assigned claim number
      • Your adjuster(s) information
        • You may have more than one adjuster (one for the structure and one for your belongings (also known as contents)
    • It is helpful to keep all of this information easily accessible so you can review it at any time. We have a special card we can give you to write everything down
  • How do I get back to normal?
    • Make sure you get the fire report number and contact information for the Fire Marshal
    • Contact your insurance company to report the dire and file a claim
    • Get information and understand the repair process
      • Board-up (may be provided by fire department or a company such asPaul Davis)
      • Inspection
        • DO NOT touch areas where the fire originated
        • Inspections will be required by your insurance company, mortgage company, county/municipality, and/or Cause & Origin Experts
      • Contents (your personal belongings)
        • Remove high-value unaffected items (jewelry, firearms, etc)
        • Other salvageable items will need to be packed out and moved to a clean environment to remove smoke particulates. It is best to have a certified Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician assess and clean items properly to prevent further damage. Please do not attempt to clean your own items
        • Non-salvageable items should be photographed and inventoried for your insurance carrier or kept onsite for inspection
      • Structure Cleaning
        • After the scene of the damage is released and after approval from your insurance company, the source of the fire can be removed. This well help alleviate the odor and allow further assessment of the damage
        • Salvageable areas of your home will need to be cleaned. This includes a wipe down of walls, floors, trim, fixtures, windows, etc with a solvent designed to remove smoke particles
      • Demolition
        • Fire-damaged building materials will need to be removed
      • Rebuild
        • Restoration of your home to its pre-loss condition
  • Who do I call?
    • Your insurance agent/adjuster
    • Responding Fire Marshal/Department
    • Your selected restoration contractor
  • How can Paul Davis help?
    • We can facilitate a board-up immediately to ensure safety and security for your home
    • We are an approved vendor for many insurance carriers and we can work professionally and diligently with any carrier to get you on the road to recovery
    • Our team includes certified Fire & Smoke Restoration Technicians who can oversee your project and be your advocate
    • Customer Reviews


“In 2014, our town home was struck by lightning. USAA assigned Paul Davis to take care of the mess. They did an awesome job and it was done quickly. In 2018, we had a fire at home just after Thanksgiving. Paul Davis showed up shortly after the fire trucks, I thought, wow, USAA is on it again. Paul Davis helped us over the last 5 and 1/2 months to take care of the property and smoke damage which was extensive…….Thank goodness for Paul Davis…”

‘​This email is a bit overdue, but I wanted to email you directly to personally thank you for all of the work that Logan McGowan did to rebuild my parent’s house (address omitted on website for privacy) after a devastating fire occurred there in March 2017. Logan took over the project from John Billings in late 2018 and worked very closely with me until the project was finally completed in November of last year. ​Logan is by far one of the most courteous, professional, and hard-working people that I have ever met. ​My brother and sister and I had grown up in the house so reconstructing it was a particularly daunting task and, to complicate issues even further, I actually live in Germany. Logan made himself available to me at all hours to address my concerns and was extremely helpful throughout the whole reconstruction process. On several occasions he even spent several hours on the phone or via Face Time with me in order to make sure that all of my questions were answered and that I had a very clear understanding about every aspect of the project. ​His guidance and assistance were very much appreciated and I can’t thank him enough for making the whole difficult process go so smoothly. ​I can unreservedly say that Logan is a great asset to your company, and if there is anything else I can do to recommend him further please let me know.”

“​Paul Davis Restoration made a horrendous situation tolerable. Everyone I worked with from PDR was professional, knowledgeable, and courteous. The work they performed was impeccably done and I appreciated the care they took to protect my belongings. PDR was always punctual and efficient, which put me at ease. I could not have asked for a better experience.”

“​Hello Paul Davis Team, I want to send this note on behalf of my wife and I, to thank you for your stellar work on our restoration at our home…our project manager from PD was particularly very professional, very responsive and easy to work with, and on several occasions he went above and beyond his expected responsibilities to make sure the work was perfectly done. ​(an example was how he took his own initiative(out of scope) to repair our master bathroom shower which was dripping and had been a source of irritation to me over many months before we moved out. ). ​I have posted a review below on Yelp, and will post similar reviews on other social media sites that I am part of.  Thanks again for taking the home restoration work to the finish line ahead of schedule too!!”