A grease fire changed everything

by Erika

My parents had a small modest house that they had worked very hard to pay off. Although on paper it was not worth all that much, it was everything we had. After paying off the house my parents started doing a renovation on it and buying new furniture and appliances

Five years ago, my father turned on a pot of oil to cook some French fries, but after a long night at work, he fell asleep. My mother and I came home that evening to a burned out shell of a house. My father had gotten out okay, but several of our pets were not so lucky.

When the insurance adjuster came to talk with them, he had doubts about all these new possessions they claimed to have purchased. He knew the house was modest, and that the incomes of my parents were very modest, and he did not understand how they could have bought so many new appliances and pieces of furniture recently.

Mom and dad tried to explain that it was because they were no longer making mortgage payments, so their incomes went much further, but that fell on deaf ears. He told them to come up with receipts to prove their inventory list. The original receipts had all burned in the fire, and my parents regretted not having a fireproof safe or safety deposit box for such things. They spent several months fighting with stores and some local business people to get copies of all their purchase receipts, and they were finally able to retrieve most of them, though not all.

Now my parents keep copies of receipts for all their major purchases outside of the home, and now they feel better prepared if the unthinkable happens again.

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