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The most frightening thing happened the morning of June 27, 2007... but let me back up a little bit, first.

About 5 days previous, my daughter Kelly came to me and said, “I don’t mean to freak you out, Mom...but there’s a crack in my ceiling and it looks like it’s going to cave in.”  Being the non-alarmist of the family, i sent her to talk to her father about it.  When i spoke with Paul after he checked it out, he said that she definitely had a crack in her ceiling and that it was probably due to the foundation shifting or something and that there was no risk of it “caving in“.  We’d been debating how to handle this for days...his ideas have ranged from spackling it to sheet-rocking over it.  I’d been lobbying for tearing it down and re-sheet rocking the whole thing.

Back to June 27th, 2007...i had just gotten out of the shower and was opening the door when i heard this horrendous crash and Kelly calling me.  The noise got worse and i rushed to open the door to her room only to be stopped by debris on the floor.  I could see in just enough to watch as the rest of Kelly’s ceiling collapsed onto her as she huddled on the floor against her bed.  Once the entire ceiling was down, she pushed through the debris and ran out of her room.  Patrick and Jax were still in bed but heard the commotion so they came running.  Evidently, i was screaming and so was Kelly!!!

Kelly said that she was half asleep and heard a noise and looked up to see a new crack growing perpendicular to the existing crack.  The one side of her ceiling fell down and she rolled off her bed in the opposite direction and covered her head.  That’s when she called out to me.  She also told me that she’d had her ceiling fan on all night and awoke about 5AM to see sparks coming from it so she turned it off.  When the ceiling fell, the fan was hanging from one wire with several severed ones around it.  We immediately had an electrician friend come up to make sure the wiring was dead in the room.  The insurance adjuster came a day later.  Both the electrician and the adjuster were flabbergasted....said they’d never seen anything like that.  There was absolutely no sign of moisture so that wasn’t a factor.  So...Kelly’s nightstand, bookcase, TV and many other items are well as her mattress being filled with construction dust.  It was days before we’d gone in there to survey the full scope of the damage because it upset Kelly too much.  

I guess for someone who doesn’t practice her faith, i lean on it pretty heavilyt.  I am so thankful that Kelly wasn’t hurt more seriously.  She had a nasty bruise on her right shoulder, some cuts and scrapes on her back and a nice goose egg on her head.  I can’t imagine what her condition would be if she hadn’t been awake or if the first chunk to fall was directly over her???   If you notice from the pictures, you will see the chunk that fell directly onto her pillow.  When the debris was hauled away and weighed at the dump, we learned that 780 pounds of lath and plaster had fallen onto my girl!

Paul and I were both horrified by what happened.  I know that Paul was feeling particularly bad about this whole event because he so grossly miscalculated the possibilities of that first “crack“.  The structural engineer concluded that the lath and plaster ceiling simply became too much burden for the nails that had been holding it up for 70 years (yes, I said NAILS).  We had the most comprehensive homeowner’s insurance available in the state of NY and we received not one red cent in coverage.  The insurance adjuster somehow decided that this was due to “normal wear and tear” and not brought about by any “peril“...therefore releasing the responsibility from the insurance company and onto the consumer, us.  

This is the pile that Kelly crawled out from under when it was over!

Notice the size of debris that would have fallen on Kelly’s head if she had been sleeping!

This is how it looked when it was over...every last scrap of ceiling fell!


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Oct 30, 2008
    • Holy crap, Linda!! I am so glad that she wasn’t any more hurt than she was.

      I’m not a bit surprised that the insurance company found a way around paying.

      Congrats to Kelly for quick-thinking, in spite of being sleepy!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Alleyne-Hill wrote Oct 30, 2008
    • Hey Daphne/Linda

      I am so glad that your daughter is okay...Thank God for His mercy...

      I to am not surprised that your insurance company will not cover the cost, they‘re famous for that...

      Our pool busted apart last winter and supposedly we were covered, but when it came time to put in a claim, we found out we were not covered..We chose not to dispute it because we really didn’t have any damage..we just don’t have a pool for right now...The filter and powerful force of the water damaged our fence but John fixed it...We found the filter down the street..Thank God no one was hurt or anything else was damaged.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Shopgirl1960 wrote Oct 30, 2008
    • Oh myyyyyyyyy,,,, I am so thankful that Kelly is okay!!!
      The Lord was indeed watching out for her~!

      I’m sure you were devastated that the insurance company denied paying for it,but... one thing that the money DID pay for was...  EVIDENCE of how much God loves us~!
      This will forever be “Kelly’s Blessing“,,, and soooo.. when there are times in her life that she may need to know that God is watching out for her, and loves her.... you will always have these pictures to show her.  

      I am SO thankful for the things I have in my life that show EVIDENCE of God’s love for me. Sometimes we REALLY need to know that YES God is there.

      I am so happy this had a good outcome my friend,and
      I’m sure you are so thankful today!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Oct 30, 2008
    • Hi Daphne..

       WOW! im so glad that God was there watching over her! He is so faithful to us!

      i am greatful she is ok!

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sbajger wrote Nov 4, 2008
    • Thank God she was okey


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inspectorclouseau wrote Sep 25, 2009
    • Hello Daphne,

      I know exactly why your ceiling fell, and I have been successful in getting insurance companies to pay for repairs of such ceilings before they have fallen out. Your other ceilings are likely at risk and if you let me help you I may be able to get your insurance company to pay for their repair. This was NOT an example of normal ‘wear and tear’ and you need a professional to dispute what your adjuster made up.

      I have had a plaster restoration company in Greensboro, NC, (Estate Plaster)and have been addressing ceilings such as yours since 1992. Most people do not understand the danger of this happening and I am trying to get the word out.

      I have lately been trying to gather examples of what can happen when this type of ceiling problem is ignored and would like to use your story and photos on my new website for Estate Plaster.  

      If I can help you in any way, do not hesitate to call me, Philip, at 336-327-5523 or email me at [Link Removed]

      Will you let me link to your story from my website? It may save someone’s life.

      Btw, I did not choose the cartoon of the woman with the wine glass, it just automatically appeared.

      Inspectorclouseau, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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