The fat is aflame

‘It is late in the afternoon, my wife is upstairs asleep and I put a pan on with beef. At 5 pm I have an appointment with my neighbour, but he calls that we could meet up earlier. I grab my coat and car keys, for we are going to meet up at the winter garage accommodation for our caravans- in a few days’ time we will be going on holiday. While I am on my way, my wife wakes up by a smell of smoke. At the same time the smoke alarm on the landing goes off. She walks downstairs into the kitchen and notices that the contents of the pan – or rather, the fat- caught fire. I simply forgot to turn down the fire.

Nylon clothing

Fortunately enough, my wife has the presence of mind not to put the lid on the pan, as she is wearing highly inflammable nylon clothing. She goes to our next-door neighbours and asks them to call out the fire brigade. In the meantime, three men next door enter the garden gate, drawn by the smoke that appeared under the gutter. They try to fight the flames with water from the garden pond and they are quite successful. That is what the firemen observe as well, after having extinguished the lot and having dispelled most of the smoke.

Assistance was just what we needed

The only thing that crosses my mind is ‘What next?’ The firemen have hardly left when the Salvage coordinator appears in the doorway. His name is Hans and he immediately puts us at ease. He will not leave until all necessary steps have been put into action. He organizes a certified calamity relief company and a nearby hotel. Which is so nice, because we are still shaken and cannot think clearly. We are glad that Hans discusses matters with the staff of the calamity relief company, the insurance expert and our agent. They clearly speak the same language- that is for sure. As an ex-professional soldier I am impressed by his manner that radiates a full command of the situation.

Restoration on its way

The next morning at 7.30 sharp, a team of three men strong arrive to give the place a thorough cleaning. The fire – the soot and fat- is energetically being rubbed off. Back at the hotel we start off with the first requests for a quotation with painting businesses, glaziers, window frame people, kitchen firms and what not. The restoration of our kitchen may start. And when everything looks as good as new again, we are still going on holiday.’