A Fresh Start

Bethesda Magazine

Featured In: Bethesda Magazine 

Bethesda MagazineExcerpt:On the evening of Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, Eric Burka, his wife, Kristin, and two of their three children were watching the movie Romeo and Juliet in their Town of Chevy Chase family room…When Kristin opened the door to let the dog out, she noticed some black smoke in the backyard and asked Eric to come take a look. He thought it was probably from the tile work being done in the house next door, which had been vacant and under construction for a year and a half. When he saw how thick the smoke was, he ran to the front door and found the street jammed with fire engines and the house next door engulfed in flames. The movie had drowned out the chaos. Eric yelled to everyone in his house to get out..In January 2014, McLean, Virginia-based builder BOWA began a top-to-bottom renovation of the Burkas’ home. Potomac’s Steve Kirstein, one of BOWA’s owners, says the hardest part of a post-fire renovation is getting rid of the smoky smell that can linger in the framing. The Burkas’ insurer didn’t want to replace all of it, claiming that the “non-damaged” pieces could be “soda blasted” (similar to power washing), but GGG convinced them to cover the cost. The BOWA team also found that many of the pipes had split while spending a few cold months in an empty house. The Burkas’ insurance company argued that the pipe damage was unrelated to the fire, forcing them to file a second claim and pay another $5,000 deductible…”

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