Another smoker sets a house on fire, this time in Jamaica Plain

Read of 36 Hall St. in Jamaica Plain after fire

Rear of 36 Hall St. Photo by BFD.

The Boston Fire Department reports firefighters responded to 36 Hall St. at 4:22 a.m. for what turned into a two-alarm fire.

The department identifies the cause as: " careless disposal of smoking materials, 1st floor rear porch."

The fire, which started in the rear of the building, displaced three residents and caused an estimated $400,000 in damage, the department reports, adding there were no injuries.

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Comments

Damage estimates

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I know it's not the BFD's job to provide accurate damage estimates, but come on, only $400,000 damage in that photo? There ain't nothing left! You can't buy an outhouse in JP for $400k and that certainly looks like it'll need to be built over from scratch.

I always fell like the damage estimates are way low of what it will actually cost to repair the building.

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For the building

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It's in the ballpark for building something that size on an existing lot with basement already dug. But that number doesn't include contents, which it probably should.

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Purchase Price

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The purchase price includes the land, which presumably was not destroyed. I can't tell by the picture. Typically land adds to the value, so the estimate could be appropriate.

However, if there were environmental toxins in the home that should not have been in a residential dwelling (i.e. chemicals for a Meth Lab) then the site would be contaminated and remediation would be necessary, making the land a liability and not an asset. This would add to the damage estimate and you would be correct.

Either way, I agree with you that dollar estimates of damage are rather unnecessary and by definition are rather silly since so little is known about the property condition immediately upon extinguishing the flames. All that can reasonable be determined is the extent of the damage to the structure which seems to me that a percentage of destruction is more reasonable than a dollar estimate.

As a JP resident the real question is whether the rebuild will be considered gentrification or a simple rebuild of already affordable housing. I guess that depends on the race of the current occupants. I will wait to offer my opinion on that, but expect a follow up article if the G word is raised by community organizers.

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How do you

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know the apartments destroyed in the fire were affordable?

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Maybe it's me and I'm blind

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Maybe it's me and I'm blind and am missing something. Where does it say it was caused by smoking? I thought it was from one of those space heaters.

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JP fire

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The Boston Fire Department @BostonFire tweeted about it this morning:

Fire Investigators have determined cause of 2 alarm fire as careless disposal of smoking materials, 1st floor rear porch.
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Yep

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Thanks, I've updated the original post.

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People who pay $10 a pack to

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People who pay $10 a pack to get cancer and look, smell and feel like crap don't have the best judgement. You can't count the number of houses smokers have burned down in Boston this year on both of your hands. The city should put another tax, maybe a dollar per pack, to pay for the damage smokers cause.

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I don't support the

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I don't support the government getting involved, but a movement to get landlords, HOAs, and so on, to ban this shit from their properties is something I could get behind. A lot of landlords already do. That's what we need more of.

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oh yes

prohibition, thats always worked very well in the past. i see no reason why it wouldnt work just as well in the future.

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Have it in all my leases -

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Have it in all my leases - but still tenant/their guest's cigarettes caused 2 fires on back porches and two fires at front of property from drivers tossing cigarettes out window (and landing in my front yard mulch!) not kidding! So hard to combat!

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