Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The man you call after the fire cools down

Smoke, soot, water, mildew, mold - after a fire the size that hit downtown Renton last week, the clean-up process is daunting. It's more than just pushing a mop and wiping down the walls. It takes professional help and care - and fast. If not attended to immediately, the mold and mildew of tons of water that sluiced through your establishment trying to put the fire out will leave their damage.

Luckily Mike Roberts was on the scene even before the fire inspectors were letting the business owners in to inspect their losses. Mike was already keenly evaluating what equipment needed to be brought over, the crew he needed to gather and the first actions he had to take to help Common Ground Coffee and Cupcakes, CK Nail Spa and Salon, and the Renton Laptop Computer Store start to clean up.

CK Nail Spa and Salon

Even though these three businesses were not involved in the fire or the building that now lays in ruins, the water used by the firemen to contain the spread of the flames filtered into their shops. From what Mike Roberts tried to explain to me, the firemen needed to cut a trough for the water to run through while attacking the fire. The water then came in a little bit to the Common Ground, a little more to the Computer Store, but unfortunately for the Nail Salon, most of the water then ended up there. When Chi and Kevin, the owners of the salon, first opened the door, at least 6 inches deep of water ran out. It will take a much longer time for the Nail Salon to recover and reopen.

I am mentally rubbing the belly of Buddha, in Asia meant to help the bringing of good luck, that the CK Nail Spa and Salon gets back to giving the best manicures and pedicures around real soon.

When talking to the owners of Common Ground yesterday, Papa Cupcakes (yes, that's what I call him!) says that they wouldn't even be able to think about opening by possibly tomorrow if it hadn't been for Mike Roberts and his team working from the absolute first possible moment to get their place clean and up and going. They thought he just cleaned carpets - they had no idea that he had specialized machinery, fans, you name it, to help in such drastic conditions. It also helped that Mike's wife, Crystal, works for Hang and Lang at the Cupcake Shop. He told me that she was very unhappy about the fire, and Mike firmly believes in "Happy Wife, Happy Life." And Mike has been nearly exhausting himself these past few days to make sure that Crystal, and everyone else, is feeling better after the fire.

Mike Roberts also told me that to get started with his intense work, he was going to need a huge container on site to throw out damaged pieces of building from the fire. Jennifer Davis Hayes heard him and delivered immediately - and the container's cost was footed by the City of Renton. Just another reason to acknowledge - Hey, that's what's great about Renton!

Venturi Clean 206 - 522 - 4444 17660 West Valley Highway, Tukwilla,WA
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Feathered Nest said...

I am continually amazed how gracious everyone has been to all the business owners and tenants who lost their homes after the fire. It really does speak well as to what a great community Renton is and how well the City itself has responded. Renton truly is a great place to live and work! (Oh....and play too!)


allaboutrenton said...

Renton really is the coolest!

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