new tenant in a kitchen fire accident

Saturday night dinner for the tenant (a single Mum with three young kids) has turned all bad. She hardly moved in a month ago. Sadly, the hot oil for frying chips started burning and she ended up slipping on the oil which had by then spilled onto the floor. Now she is in Wangaratta hospital with 3rd degree burns. She is expected to be in hospital for the next few weeks atleast and may require a transfer to melbourne hospital. The CFA (country fire authority) had to attend to the property to put the flames out.

Now the question is, what next?
As I understand that there is fire damage to the cupboards, floor coverings and the exhaust. Apparently our landlord protection insurance would cover the damage and the tenant would pay the excess, the REA has confirmed. I am unsure whether this is how it is normally done, or are there somethings that I need to be aware of. The REA is sending us the damage pics this morning, as I am in Sydney and the property is in Wangaratta VIC.

Anyone with similar experiences??!


PS - have organised to send some flowers over.
G’Day GC

Yes, I had a similar experience some years ago, the tenant cooking chips for dinner and the pan exploded into flames.

More damage was caused by the thirty fire fighters who attended than by the fire

Luckily, apart from a small burn to her thumb, neither the tenant or her children were hurt.

However, on a practical basic I didn’t charge the tenant the excess, relying instead on her to coordinate the insurance assessor, cabinet makers, painters etc

This was not a good idea. I should have involved the property manager more as the tenant accepted a ‘near enough’ cleaning job, didn’t notice that the painter had cut in the hallway but not painted the walls, accepted re-grouting of the tiles with pink and not beige grout, had decided that the curtains were ‘all right’ etc etc

As a result, when she moved out five years later, I then found that the curtains were smoke damaged and still stank, the walls behind the furniture had not been cleaned or painted, and numerous other matters which would have been covered by insurance if they had been claimed at the time.

I was insured with CGU and they were fantastic. The Builder assigned to the job was great, even coming back with another painter and repainting all the ceilings (and finishing the hall!) but the tenant (who had been a property manager for ten years), who could have made sure that the house was returned to the previous condition either did not see or did not concern herself that the whole job should have been done, not just the most obvious bits.

As you live some distance away, you will need to make sure that the property manager is fully involved with the Insurance manager and that the house is returned to the previous condition.

Hope this helps
Anyone with similar experiences??!

We had a tenant set fire to the stove (stuff in oven caught fire)

Was quite impressed with the insurance mob - got a us a nice new stainless steel thing to replace the old (and it was pretty old!) "whitegoods" stove.

They also paid for the fire dept's call out fee (not cheap!!)

As Kristine says, keep in close touch with the PM on the progress with the claims side, additional repairs etc etc.


The Y-man
Thanks Kristine and Y-Man, your replies much appreciated. I am in touch with the REA and hopefully we are able to restore the property to its original condition, if not better. And most importantly the tenant gets well soon...
may i make a suggestion?

please don't hit the tenant with the excess.

sounds like she's had a pretty rough trot, in and out of hospital and 3 kids to look after.

for a few hundred - i'd just wear it.
may i make a suggestion?

please don't hit the tenant with the excess.

sounds like she's had a pretty rough trot, in and out of hospital and 3 kids to look after.

for a few hundred - i'd just wear it.
yeah, I was thinking of the same.
Infact Kristine's post above got me thinking on those lines.
Will first check out how much the excess will work out to and then do the needful.
cool - just accidents happen and if she was okay i'd have just said "carelessness - make her foot the bill" but if she's seriously injured from a bad incident i wouldn't compound the matter further.