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Building a Fire Proof Home

March 4, 2019

Losing a home to a fire inspired a family to build a fire and flood proof home which includes 12 inch brick and six foot elevation.  What’s also important is to recall how quickly homes can burn especially if your home has accelerants.  So if you must play with fireworks avoid releasing them near your home, especially if you use pine straw as mulch.  Speaking of accelerants we will make an early pitch for artificial Christmas trees. Read more from the Wall Street Journal below.

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This Florida Home Fights Fires

After one property burned down, the Chandler family built a $2.25 million mansion in Destin that is like a fortress

This 6,600-square-foot house, located along a bayou, is a classic French Country style that is rooted in the South, with large overhangs and lots of outdoor living space. Matthew Coughlin for The Wall Street Journal

The Chandler family home has foot-thick walls, a slate roof, fiberglass shutters, concrete roof soffits and a sophisticated sprinkler system throughout. Photo: Matthew Coughlin for The Wall Street Journal

Brent and Dana Chandler, who own three restaurants in Florida’s Panhandle, love to have big parties. That is how their house burned down.

It was a New Year’s bash in 2013 with seven families gathered in the 5,000-square-foot, U-shaped house with a pool in the middle. After a big dinner of beef Wellington and burgundy mushrooms, the guests—some 25—went outside to a dock overlooking the bayou and sat around a bonfire. They watched as the Chandlers shot off fireworks. Suddenly, someone noticed flames leaping up from behind the house. It turned out embers had landed in pine straw, which then ignited four stand-up paddle boards leaning against the house.

“I knew immediately that it would be devastating,” says Mrs. Chandler, 46 years old. She moved all the children, including her daughters—then 5 and 9—to the neighbor’s home. After a brave dash inside the pitch-black, flame-engulfed house to retrieve everyone’s car keys and her daughter’s stuffed “Pandee” panda bear, she left, never to return to the property again. A friend sifted through the burned structure a few days later, retrieving clothes, photos and old family recipes, and, miraculously, the family’s soot-covered hamster, who had survived despite a beam falling on its cage.

This 6,600-square-foot, two-story, cube-shaped house, located along a bayou in Destin, Fla., is a classic French Country style that is rooted in the South, with large overhangs and lots of outdoor living space.

Matthew Coughlin for The Wall Street Journal