This is Our Rental EIGHT Weeks After the FIRE!

Happy March everyone!

It has been EIGHT weeks since we called 911 and Seattle Fire was dispatched to one of our rentals on Queen Anne in Seattle, WA.

Someone (probably a former guest) was tired of the GFCI tripping when they were blow drying their hair. So instead of resetting the breaker from time to time, they decided to disable it. Which allowed for the knob and tube to ignite.  

Luckily this happened during the day. So, Seattle Fire arrived in less than 5 minutes from the time we called.

Any later, and the fire would have spread.

After we helped re-home our guests and their cat, my partner, my son and I went to work demoing the bathroom where the fire had been contained.  

We then contacted our insurance company, along with AirBnB. Our insurance helped cover the cost of repairing the building. While “AIR-COVER” from AirBnB helped cover the cost of all our guests items that were destroyed by the heavy smoke.

We then called our electrician to rewire the cottage. We also had him and his crew spend a week dealing with the remaining knob and tube up in the main house.

We were hoping to do this repairs when we demo the house and cottage next year. But, the safety concerns far our weighed the cost of ripping out all the work we just did when we do a major remodel 12-18 months from now.

Remember, when you buy a property, YOU MUST GET “BUTTS IN BEDS”, to help carry the debt service. While you are waiting for your construction plans to be corrected and approved by the CITY OF SEATTLE.  

THIS CAN TAKE 9-18 months depending on the issues they find…AND THEY ALWAYS FIND ISSUES!

When our electrician was done, we called Zack,one of my great contractors, to do the finish work.

He had the bathroom built out in a little over a week.

Ron took this video of  me walking through the property on Wednesday March 15th, 2023.

We have guests arriving in less than 48 hours, so our cleaning crews are there now as I write this getting ready for our next guests.

So what did we learn?  THREE THINGS……..


Always set aside funds  for capital improvements.  Some will be covered by insurance, and others will not. You need to have enough reserves to get the property back on the market ASAP, and get those butts back in beds!

2. KNOB and TUBE is Deadly

Seattle Fire explained to us that most  of their house fire calls are for older homes in Seattle that were built before World War II. They catch fire because the wiring is not grounded.  If you own and older home just look at the outlets. If it looks like the outlet on the right, chances are you are grounded.

If it looks like the one on the left, chances are you have some knob and tube.  Call an electrician and have them come out and do an inspection. Your families life may depend on it.


Contractor’s are busy right now, so we jumped in and did our own demo in order to keep the project moving forward. If you are going to demo, the power must be turned off .

We called the electric company the day of the fire to turn it all off. You also need to turn off the water supply, and DO NOT CUT ANYTHING without first understanding what utility it is connected to …

I learned the hard way when I cut a line on a previous home we were demoing, and my partner asked me over the phone if I had turned the gas off.

I had not…

And I stupidly cut the gas-line to the old water heater with a saw.

So, I was lucky that day.

My partner Joe said, , “Well Don, the good thing is you will never make that mistake again.” Joe was right!

So, in closing our post this week, I wanted to once again thank Seattle Fire for doing such a tremendous job.

We were also fortunate to have such amazing guests stay at our place. We are so appreciative of their patience and understanding.

And now I gotta run you guys because we have guests arriving in 48 hours!

As always thank you for knowing, liking, and trusting us as your broadcasters, your realtors and your friends.

Love and Respect!

Reach out when you need us.


When Don is not behind a microphone, you might find him helping clients shop for properties to buy, invest, or sell. As an active investor, Don seeks out properties for long term investments. Schedule Your Sit Don with Ron today!

© Ron and Don Real Estate 2024. All Rights Reserved. Site designed by Alex Hodschayan.

DISCLAIMER: Ron Upshaw, Managing Broker License #22027577 & Don O’Neill, Broker License #95294 are brokers with Kelly Right Real Estate

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