This Warehouse From 1912 Is Better Than Most Modern Ones

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In 1914, Joseph and Henry Bimm of Dayton, Ohio opened the Bimm Fireproof Warehouse. Aside from such luxurious amenities as electric lighting, a temperature-controlled piano room and a burglar-proof vault, the Bimm brothers’ warehouse was famously billed as “absolutely fireproof”.

Today, warehouses haven’t exactly lived up to that one’s reputation.

This past April, a three-alarm fire broke out at a storage facility in Brooklyn. While the cause has not been determined, it is reasonable to believe that at least some of the stuff being stored inside the warehouse was flammable. Yet Fire Engineering tells us that “fire officials performed an exterior attack because of the structural (in)stability of the building.” In other words, they saw reason to believe the building might not survive the fire intact. Smart move, as the Bronx Times tells us the fire chief later confirmed that “the side of the warehouse collapsed from the fire.”

Damon Winter/The New York Times

In another Brooklyn warehouse incident, this one in 2015, an initial fire set off the sprinklers, dousing the flames. The bad news was that firefighters had to take the sprinkler system off line since sprinkler heads have to be replaced after discharging water. This meant they were out of commission when a second fire began to spread. The material stored in the warehouse consisted largely of sensitive documents: “medical records, court transcripts, lawyers’ letters, sonograms, bank checks and more” from the state court system, the city’s Administration for Children’s Services and the Health and Hospitals Corporation and several local hospitals.

These documents, containing identifying information on countless thousands of people, ended up being strewn all over the neighborhood and the waterfront as that warehouse began to crumble.

Finally, in a most ironic twist, a Northern California man lost a mountain of valuables hours after moving them from his home to a nearby warehouse. In August 2016, the Clayton Fire was spreading fast across dry, grassy Lake County, a hundred miles north of San Francisco. Lower Lake resident Marc Giberson saw his home was in danger and made the quick decision to evacuate, taking his girlfriend and her dogs away in his pickup, which he piled high with valuable musical memorabilia, including his late musician father’s record collection and his grandfather’s saxophone. With a friend and a bulldozer, he was able to save his home, but the fire swept through town and destroyed dozens of buildings – including, yes, that warehouse.

As the San Francisco Gate reports, “the fire destroyed a huge collection of historic memorabilia that (Giberson) was hoping to one day donate to the Lower Lake Schoolhouse Museum, for which he serves as a board member. He also lost a mini modified race car and four vintage cars, including a 1923 Studebaker, which was used as a parade car in the 150-year anniversary of Lake County…

Even worse, though, was the saxophone, music collection and awards once owned by his late grandfather, Freddy Christian, a former big-band leader who once played for John Philip Sousa.”

Fires happen, unfortunately. Things burn, naturally. But far better steps need to be taken to minimize the damage.

Anyone out there know how to get in touch with Joseph and Henry Bimm?

University President Loses Everything in Moving Truck Fire

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As the summer winds down, college students aren’t the only ones scrambling to get ready for the new school year. University professors and administrators have to sweat it out too. And no one, perhaps, has more to do than Timothy Mottet, the new president of Colorado State University in Pueblo.

After moving to southeast Colorado from Kansas City, MO, Mr. Mottet had everything he owned go up in flames on a highway in western Kansas.

Photo by John Jaques

“I’ve got a suit and a pen,” he tells us as he sits in his empty office, managing a smile for the camera.

We are told it is unknown why the truck hauling his and two other families’ goods caught fire in the early morning near Colby, KS, 250 miles from his new home. We do know that he lost pretty much everything. “I’m starting from scratch,” Mottet says. We also don’t know what type of coverage he had on his shipment, if any. But like anyone moving, there is a lot of irreplaceable stuff: photos, framed documents and tragically even a family member’s ashes are among the items he says are gone.

His misfortune has been met with an outpouring of kindness from the community. His new housekeeper, who so far hasn’t had much to clean in his empty house, brought him a load of stuff for his kitchen. He also says he hasn’t had to pay for a meal since arriving in town with his pen. “Everyone has just been incredibly generous,” Mottet says.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all the ups and downs, he still has a job to do, getting to know the ins and outs of his new domain and charting a course for his university’s future. Which is how it is for all our customers. People want to be moved so they can move on with things.

Stay Safe, Know Your Cargo

Movers everywhere: It’s crucial to know the types of things you cannot bring on a moving truck so this type of thing doesn’t happen. But if something does happen along the way, we can only hope that unfortunate customer is as gracious as Mr. Mottet.

Finish the summer up safe, ladies and gents.

Quick Thinking Helps Two Nearby Movers Prevent a Disaster

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Down in Albuquerque, NM, two movers were just finishing up a job when they encountered a woman panicking, saying something about a fire behind her home. The men went to see what was going on, and upon seeing the flames jumped into action.

According to KRQE Newsone of the men remembered that there was a fire extinguisher in their truck. Unfortunately, that would only last for so long, and once it was empty the movers began kicking dirt at the perimeter of the fire, managing to keep it contained until the fire department showed up.

The obvious moral of the story is two-fold; One, make sure your trucks are properly equipped. Fire is a hazard in any season, and in the summer heat that potential for disaster only grows. And two, keeping a cool head in the heat of the moment can literally prevent someone’s world from going up in flames.

This is huge because accidents happen all the time. North of the border, sadly, disaster recently played out. In a suburb of Toronto, Canada a six-year-old boy was riding his bicycle when he was struck and killed by a moving truck.

Not much is known of the details. All we can say is please be careful, this summer and all year round. Because sometimes kids, and those around them, are not.

The 5 (Surprising) Things I Learned About Fireplace Doors After Installing Them for a Living

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Your fireplace is the focal point of your room. As Director of Sales and Marketing for BrickAnew, I tell people this all the time. Stockings are hung from the mantle and graduation pictures are taken in front of it. But it’s also the dirtiest place in your house. One of the easiest ways to hide that mess is by adding glass doors to your fireplace.

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From Tires to Fires: Take Care or Get Burned

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[Synopsis: Those metal trailers can get hot in the summer. Take care… or get burned, like me.]

My career in the transportation industry began not with a moving company but with a freight service. I spent two high school summers working with a buddy for his dad’s trucking business where I loaded trailers with car tires at the Bridgestone and Michelin distribution warehouses, day after sweaty day.

One tire at a time we loaded them, each of us throwing 20-25,000 pounds worth of steel-belted radials in a day. We stacked them in walls called tiers, interlacing the tires to make optimum use of trailer space. We climbed these tiers to cram our tires all the way to the roof because if they didn’t all fit on the trailer the first time, we’d have to pull them out and pack them in tighter.

Even getting them all on the first time, loading 25,000 lbs. of tires onto a trailer took the better part of the day, and after hours sitting out in the middle of a macadam and concrete industrial area in New Jersey, underneath the steamy sun-scorched trailers – in particular their metal roofs – would sizzle like a skillet of bacon. Meanwhile, I’d be cramming my tires into every last bit of space under that frying pan. Inevitably, my back or my arm would come in contact with that hot metal.

My friend in the next trailer knew when it happened because he could hear the screaming.

Fast forward to my move crew days…

Now I was loading trucks and trailers with customers’ belongings. Now it was the Denver, Colorado summer sun beating down and heating up that metal roof. And with my second-degree burns from my tire-loading days having just healed, I knew enough to take care when trying to slip those last few skinny items up into that tiny space on top of the load.

During these scorching summer days, be sure to take care and be aware of the skillet heating up over your head. Keep your skin and your customers’ stuff off of that hot plate. Because like these folks in Queens, New York, you never know what might start burning.

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