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April 12, 2005

Rube Goldberg is haunting (well, WAS haunting) 1313 Tompkins Drive in D.C.

This is how it happened.

Tim Brender was working in his basement when he pushed a table back. This caused a can of spray paint to fall. On the way down, the can hit a hammer square, causing spray paint to, well, spray all over the place.

So far, no harm no foul, just a wicked amount of clean-up.

However, the spray paint spread all the way to the water heater and got into the chamber with, you guessed it, the pilot light. A flash fire hit and was able to reach (thank you, fate!) a cushion which immediately ignited. The basement blaze turned into an inferno when flammable liquids and gunpowder stored there combusted.

It would be almost surreal if the family didn't lose everything: all their furniture and kitchen appliances, their computer, beds and the majority of their clothes.

It was a townhouse they were renting, so they didn't have renter's insurance, in part because people don't usually buy renter's insurance, despite how cheap and useful it is, and in part because they were just days from moving to a new home.

"You don't realize what your stuff is worth until you have to tally it up in a dumpster," Lani Brender (the wife) said.

The full story, and a link to help out the family, is here.

Posted by Dan at April 12, 2005 07:33 AM

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That reminds me. I keep meaning to get renter's insurance.

Posted by: Joel Caris at April 12, 2005 02:19 PM

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