The Roof, The Roof Is On Fire
by, 20th June 2009 at 09:55 PM (362 Views)
What I thought was a workable situation seems to spiral ever so far out of control. What's that? Well, a fire for one.
Our apartment caught fire about a month ago over a grease fire. A roommate's friend was deep frying fries and ended up overheating the oil allowing it to combust onto itself. In minutes, the fire was rushing in a pillar of flame from the almost infinite reservoir of corn oil. Only after he couldn't figure what to do is when he rushed it outside to get it away from the apartment. By then the fire had scorched the ceiling and pretty much tore it's way through the oven hood. I suggested isolating it in the sink to give the flame more clearance, but that didn't suffice. The knobs and metal corroded and twisted under the incredible heat. I pulled the fire alarm and since then I've been dealing with a whirlwind of issues.
Why me? Well, for one, as this friend was only visiting, and I was the only resident at the apartment at the time, I was questioned, I was the one who had to testify as witness and now as a result I have to hold responsibility for the resulting damages done to the apartment. I was prepared to accept that, but he kindly stepped up and is willing to pay the entire bill. [Which considering I wasn't really cooking-at all-I sure hoped he did.]
But is there a problem with that? Slightly. In the moments after the inferno, thankfully most of the damaged spared the bulk of the apartment. In fact aside from a layer of ash and suit, everything was virtually in tact. But it wasn't enough to convince management. Besides replacing the obviously damaged oven hood (which hasn't been replaced at all yet) and sink they went ahead and added a brand new stove and more ridiculous, a new microwave when the old one hadn't been touched at all. Furthermore, they were only supposed to just repaint the kitchen area. Instead, they went ahead and redid the entire floor. Even the contracted painter questioned that decision aloud as he got set up.
For about the past month I've been buried deep in a situation involving what we felt were managers taking advantage of an unfortunate situation. It's sad to see a place turn a dime on an accident.
As I am still attached in name, I have to look at all the details of the process. The final tab is around $2,300 for damages that really should have amounted to much less than $800.
When I told this fellow, he was considering bailing on paying and instead turning this into a small claims case. He was outraged, outraged at the price and obtuse charges, naturally. While that is well and good, I had to warn him that they only gave a 15 day ultimatum to pay the bill. I told him maybe we should appeal to the staff first, see what we could do to work down the bill before escalating to a court case. They did offer a deferment, if necessary. I don't want him to jump the gun on this before rationally thinking this out. With the way my schedule is now, I'd be very hard pressed to find the time to come with him to court and act as a stand in representative. Also in the chance that he should loose the case, the penalties he and I would have to pay for Court Fees would only further add to the cost of the bill.
I just hope he doesn't bail on the bill before we can form a workable solution. 2000 is a lot of money to have turn up on one's shoulders. I offered to pay a portion and he's willing to pay me back. But he doesn't want to pay until we can work the cost down. With less than 15 days to decide now, that penalty under my name, I deal with the very real possibility that I have to pay the full tab.
He's a nice guy, but the situation has caused more trouble than it's worth for me to get involved the past month.
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