Calvary Baptist Church

McAllen, Texas

Firefighters described it as a “wall of fire.” Sometime around midnight, a transformer outside the Emeritus Senior Living Facility in San Marcos erupted into flames, traveling to the roof then down through three floors, destroying an entire wing and displacing 36 residents.

When a disaster displaces residents from their homes or workers from their jobs, JF&A works hard to get people back in place. That was a tall order at Emeritus. A transformer fire destroys the entire electrical system, requiring a new trunkline and all of the wiring. Sidewalks and driveways had to be ripped up to accommodate the underground link. JF&A also rebuilt the wing, replacing part of the frame, interior dry wall, carpet and paint.

Where there’s fire, there’s smoke. JF&A has a host of proprietary smoke removal processes. Depending on the source of the fire and the material burned (different fires create different odors), JF&A works until the interior air is clean and normal. “You have to take baby steps,” Jim Filipowicz says, “People are sensitive to all kinds of chemical smells. You can’t just cover up the smoke odor by saturating the place with a particular substance. You have to take it carefully, and test well to make sure the solution is perfect for the residents of the facility you’re recovering.”