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Friday, December 24, 2010

Fire Binghamton - the possible consequences of Fire

When a fire strikes, the reaction generally is one of chaos and confusion.  Not many would have a plan of response to such a disaster.  The Insurers on their part expect that any such loss is reported to them immediately, they in turn arrange for a surveyor / Loss assessor / Investigator.  The expectation is that such personnel visit the scene of loss immediately collating valuable information and analyse the cause and nature of loss besides the extent of loss.

What is generally thought of is damage to Building, Electrical installations, Furniture, fixtures and fittings, Utilities like Genset, transformers,  Plant and machinery, Office equipments and various stock such as raw material, stock in trade, packing material and incidental things, finished goods etc.,  There would also be interruption in the business which would put the wheels back impeding the trading / production activities and thereby forcing losses.  Here is some more new perspective to a fire loss.

Binghamton is a city located in the Southern Tier of New York in the United States. It is located near the Pennsylvania border, situated in a bowl-shaped valley at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers.   This is a famous manufacturing centre and hub of transportation.   There are many malls and one of them is Midtown mall.   A devastating fire has been reported.

At the material time, the building remained long-vacant collection of buildings as they are being converted to student housing.   There were no report of injuries and the cause of fire is under investigation.  The Midtown mall is five connected buildings and has been empty since 1981.  Reportedly construction activity for 55 units of student housing and 18000 sq.ft of commercial space was started this year.

The fire further impacted adjacent buildings also and an office located on the 5th floor of 12 storey Press Building has had its operations impeded.  Due to the extensive smoke and water damages, the records of the website providing tax data of the city has been rendered non-functional.  The website – states that is temporarily unavailable due to extensive smoke and water damage arising out of Midtown mall fire.  This website has been providing property tax accounting software for municipalities and school districts.  This Company collects taxes on behalf of municipalities and school districts and puts tax roll information on the Internet for public access.  Tax payers can pay their taxes by credit cards. 

The fire has struck at the start of a renovation phase which was purchased by a land developer who has taken mortgage loan.   The mall is centuries old having been built as the Masonic temple and has had fire accidents in the past also.    The present developer reportedly was required to take out  a $13.7 million insurance policy as a requirement for a construction loan.

This provides additional lessons to look for in the time of a fire claim and the possibilities of damages arising out of a fire.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.


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