Kearns Family Back Home a Year After a Fire Displaced Them

| October 24, 2013 | 3 Comments

fire_before_afterCaitlin and Robert Kearns are happy to get their lives back to normal and to get back in the home they love, in the community they love, on Battery Ave. in Federal Hill. Just more than a year ago on October 22, 2012, they were displaced from their home when the adjacent home at 1277 Battery Ave. went up in flames. The fire took down two and a half other homes with it, including the Kearns’ residence.

When the fire began, Sprocket, the Kearns’ greyhound, was at the front door and knew it was time to exit the house. They soon got outside, but lost more than half of their possessions in the flames. 1277 Battery Ave. was completely gone with only the brick facade remaining. Residents of three additional homes were displaced from fire and water damage.

photo 3The Kearns’ are now unpacking their things after a year of staying at Eden in Harbor East. Robert said that it was like ‘Christmas morning’ to get many of their things back and to rediscover what was lost and what they still had. The Kearns’ home was completely rebuilt by Meyers Construction with the help of their insurance company Erie.

Robert described his new home as a combination of ‘better and worse.’ “Everything is new and we have much better insulation, but at the same time we did lose some favorite architectural details like original crown molding and doors,” said Robert.

The incident was also a reminder of why he loved his community so much. “It was really an outpouring like you see on TV,” said Robert. “The neighbors were constantly calling us and texting us, making us dinner. Everyone really came together, it was just awesome.”

One thing the Kearns didn’t doubt throughout this whole process was where they would return when the dust settled. “It was a really hard thing, but we love our house and we love our neighborhood. We knew we were coming back,” said Robert.

photo 41277 Battery Ave. is also in good hands as local developers Building Character purchased the home and is currently rebuilding it. “You don’t put much thought into the house right next to yours until something happens, so we are thrilled to know a company like Building Character is rebuilding the home. We know that it will be done right and up to code,” said Robert.

The neighbors on other side are still not back into their home. The neighbors next to them were displaced for about two months.

As for the Kearns, they are settling back into their home just in time as they will be welcoming their first child in six weeks.



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