I kept picturing exactly what would have happened if I hadn't come by -- how that bucket would have started to burn, and the wood floor would catch, and then all that newly-painted drywall. And there were cans of stain and paint around, which I'm guessing would heat up and then explode, acting as accelerants. I have great neighbors, and it wasn't that late -- maybe someone would have seen the fire and called the fire department. But I'm guessing it would have been very difficult to put out, given all the raw materials and chemicals on-site. I finally fell asleep on the couch, wrapped in an old flannel nightgown, with Kevin's arm around me. He got me into bed, but I kept waking up all night, and still feel a bit shaken this morning. Nothing happened. But it could have.
I talked to Pam this morning, and we now know exactly what happened last night; one of the painters had collected the stain rags (not tung oil, as it turns out -- they haven't started that part yet) in a bucket as he does at the end of every day, prior to taking them out to the big metal dumpster in the backyard. And then he put the bucket down for a minute, got distracted by something else, and forgot them. Just a simple mistake. He takes full responsibility, which is nice -- I hate arguing with people about whose fault a problem is. And Pam apologized to us as well. Among other new safety measures, she's going to be walking the house every evening from now 'til the end of job, which I actually don't think is necessary, but it certainly won't hurt.
Someone asked in comments whether we're going to be taking out the builder's risk insurance at this point. Honestly, I'm not sure. It's fairly expensive, and you have to buy six months' worth, and we're so close to done. Pam isn't sure she'd recommend it at this point, since we're well past the point at which you normally see major, expensive, problems -- when you're doing the structural, plumbing, electrical work. This fire was really kind of a fluke. And of course, everyone's going to be extra on their guard going forward through the finishing stages. And she has insurance, and the sub-contractors have insurance, so as long as a problem is clearly someone's fault, we're covered. The problem would arise if something happened and no one was willing to take responsbility; builder's risk insurance would cover us while we were in the midst of legal battles, for example.
What do you think? Extra insurance at this stage or not?