How Much Does It Cost to Recover from Fire Damage?

Average range: $3,000 - $40,000
Low
$2,500
Average Cost
$11,900
High
$46,500
(burnt material removal, water cleanup, odor removal, and sanitation for multiple rooms in a single-family home)

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How Much Does It Cost to Recover from Fire Damage?

Average range: $3,000 - $40,000
Low
$2,500
Average Cost
$11,900
High
$46,500
(burnt material removal, water cleanup, odor removal, and sanitation for multiple rooms in a single-family home)

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Reviewed by Sophia Fennessy. Written by Fixr.com.

A home fire is devastating to any family. Even a small fire could cause significant damage to your home and destroy your personal property. However, many structural components of a home may be salvageable after paying for fire restoration services. Before receiving estimates on total fire restoration cost, check with your homeowners insurance about policy inclusions.

Fire damage recovery is a multi-step process with labor and material costs that you must pay throughout the work. The average cost of fire restoration cost ranges from $3,000 to $40,000. For the lowest cost, you can expect to pay around $2,500 for single-family home smoke and removal services. The highest price will be approximately $46,500 for a home with multiple rooms that needs cleaning, water damage cleanup, sanitizing, and structural rebuilding. The average price is $11,900, including burnt material cleanup, removal of smoke and soot, and sanitation of multiple rooms in a single-family home.

Fire Restoration Cost

Fire Damage Restoration Cost
National average cost$2,500
Average range$3,000-$40,000
Minimum cost$2,500
Maximum cost$46,500


Fire Damage Recovery Cost by Project Range

Low
$2,500
Smoke and soot removal, including cleanup and deodorizing for a single-family home
Average Cost
$11,900
Burnt material removal, water cleanup, odor removal, and sanitation for multiple rooms in a single-family home
High
$46,500
Chemical cleanup, odor removal, water cleanup, sanitation, and structural repairs for multiple rooms in a single-family home

Fire Damage Restoration Cost

Fire damage repair costs depend on the professional hired for the job. Most professionals will not charge by the hour to repair a fire damaged house. More likely, you’ll be given a flat rate that ranges between $6,000 and $20,000 for the total project cost. However, if they charge per hour, labor rates are around $65 to $90 per hour. In all cases, a professional must be secured for safety reasons. Homeowners need to hire a company that knows how to safely enter a building that has been affected by a fire. Most professionals recommend immediate service, usually within 48 hours after the blaze. This timeframe permits contractors to salvage as much of the structure as possible. If the issues aren’t addressed promptly, any soot, water, and chemicals remaining inside can cause further damage.

Simple versus complex fires could also impact the cost. Simple fires burn what could be considered pure fuels such as dry grass and wood and usually occur outside of the home. Low amounts of soot are associated with simple fires. Complex fires are associated with home fires. Complex fires produce large amounts of soot and smoke.

The cause of the fire impacts the cost to repair a fire damaged house. For instance, kitchen fire damage could be more costly to fix because of the source. If a grease fire led to the blaze, it might leave behind oily soot, which is not as easy to remove as dry soot. Fire damage in the attic could be costly. Since the space is located at the top of the home, structural soundness must be ensured to protect the rest of the house from collapse. The fire damage may have spread from the top down, causing issues on the floors below. Plus, any wiring and vents running through the attic could have been compromised by the fire.


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Fire Restoration Cost per Square Foot

Fire restoration companies are likely to ask the square footage of a home before providing a cost estimate. If a large section of the home was damaged in the fire, then you’ll pay more in comparison to a fire that only affected a room or two of the home before containment. On average, you’ll pay between $4.00 to $6.50 per sq. ft. for restoration services. The following costs reflect the price for burnt material removal, water damage restoration, and soot cleanup per square foot.

Cost to Restore a 1000, 1750, 2000, 2500, 3000, and 4000 sq ft fire damaged home

Cost to Restore a 1000, 1750, 2000, 2500, 3000, and 4000 sq ft fire damaged home


Average House SizeAverage Fire Restoration Cost
1,000 sq. ft.$6,500
1,750 sq. ft.$8,750
2,000 sq. ft.$12,000
2,500 sq. ft.$13,500
3,000 sq. ft.$15,000
4,000 sq. ft.$20,000


Fire Damage Restoration Cost by Type of Damage

Fires are responsible for over $14.8 billion in property damage alone in 2019, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. For different types of fire damage, costs range from $250 to $6,000. House fires are the most common types of fires that lead to significant property damage. The type of work needed factors into how much it will cost to repair a fire damaged house. The type of damage isn’t only from the flames that traveled through the home. When you repair a fire damaged house, you also need to fix issues caused by extinguishing the fire.


Cost to Restore Smoke Damage, Burnt Materials, Soot Damage, Chemical Damage, Water Damage, or Structural Damage After a Fire

Cost to Restore Smoke Damage, Burnt Materials, Soot Damage, Chemical Damage, Water Damage, or Structural Damage After a Fire


Type of DamageAverage Damage Restoration Cost
Smoke Damage$250 - $1,200
Burnt Materials$300 - $1,600
Soot Damage$400 - $1,700
Chemical Damage$600 - $2,000
Water Damage$3,000 - $6,000
Structural Damage$15,000 - $25,000


Smoke Damage Restoration Cost

Professional smoke removal from a house costs between $250 and $1,200 for room cleanup, odor removal, and deodorizing. Smoke damage cleanup costs will be similar to soot cleanup pricing, with professionals likely giving you a similar quote for both.

Smoke damage repair is one of the most pressing tasks for restoring a home impacted by a fire. Smoke will need removal from any of the surfaces before any other repairs can be made. The affected rooms will also need to be cleaned and deodorized.

Thermal Fogging or Ozone Treatment Cost for Smoke Damage Restoration

Thermal Fogging or Ozone Treatment Cost for Smoke Damage Restoration


Smoke Damage TreatmentAverage Cost Per Floor
Thermal Fogging Treatment$250 - $550
Ozone Treatment$300 - $600


Thermal Fogging Cost

Thermal fogging treatment is another option for professionals to assist with smoke damaged areas of the home and will have a similar price point between $250 and $550 per floor. With the thermal fogging treatment, a deodorizing agent is heated before misted across any furniture and textiles. Thermal fogging is effective at getting rid of lingering odors in even hard to reach areas. The way that it works is the agent in the fogger attaches to smoke particles and absorbs them. The process neutralizes the odor permanently.

Ozone Treatment Cost

The cost of ozone treatment for houses is between $300 and $600 per floor, a common service used for smoke damage restoration. An ozone treatment involves using high levels of oxygen within an enclosed area to rid the area of odors. Instead of two atoms of oxygen, ozone treatments use three. The ozone released by the generator breaks down airborne molecules and bacteria found in a fire-damaged home to remove strong smoke odors.

Burnt Materials

Contractors have several options when it comes to providing an estimate on burnt material removal. Some professionals provide a per pound quote starting at $60 per pound. However, you may be subject to a flat-rate of $300 to $1,600 to get rid of any fire-damaged materials. Before any structural repairs are made to a home, a remediation company needs to come out to remove any burnt materials. All items, including furnishings, that can’t be salvaged will be taken out of the home and removed to the proper trash facility.

Soot Damage Restoration

Professionals use a specialized film on the byproduct to get rid of soot. Air duct cleaning also needs to be done. If the soot has stained the walls or flooring, then cosmetic repairs may be needed. Soot damage restoration averages between $400 and $1,700 for soot removal, air duct cleaning, and deodorizing.

Soot removal cost will be close to smoke damage cleanup pricing. The main difference between the two is that soot removal involves getting rid of the ash left behind from the fire, while smoke removal concentrates more on remediation of the smell. Pricing differs between oily soot and dry soot. Oily soot cleanup will be more costly since this type of byproduct comes from grease fires. Dry soot will not smear like oily types of soot. Dry soot cleanup costs around $400 to $700, while oily soot cleanup will be upwards of $1,000.

Chemical Damage Restoration

Chemical damage restoration could be required after a home fire. Chemical damage restoration services include the cleanup of any residue left behind after a fire. Ozone treatment is also commonplace since the solution clears the air of potentially toxic chemicals. Expect to pay between $600 and $2,000 to have chemical residues cleaned up by a professional and an ozone treatment for the home. The main reason for the remediation service is the use of fire extinguishers during a fire. Although effective at putting out flames, fire extinguishers leave behind a chemical residue on surfaces. The use of extinguishers could impact the air quality in the room. Another issue during a fire that could occur is the burning of toxic chemicals located in the home.

Water Damage After a Fire

Expect to pay between $3,000 and $6,000 for excess water removal, drying, and drywall repairs per room. Water damage after a fire could occur for many reasons. For one, a sprinkler system may have been initiated to put out the flames. Also, firefighters use water to extinguish a fire. All areas with moisture buildup need dehumidification after the water has been removed. Fire and flood restoration services have similar costs because both involve remediation of areas that have been exposed to significant amounts of water.

Structural Damage After a Fire

Structural repairs for a fire damaged home, including wood replacement, sheetrock installation, and new insulation, could average anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 per room. Structural damage after a fire is the first thing assessed by professionals. The structural damage needs close review to determine if it’s safe to work inside the home. If a building is condemned or certain rooms are deemed unsafe, caution tape will be placed around the off-limits areas. An inspector will let you know what types of repairs are needed before entering the building.

In some cases of major structural damage, demolition may be required due to dangerous conditions. Structural engineers look at the soundness of a building and check other potentially broken components such as missing doorways and broken windows. There could be holes in the ceiling and flooring.


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Fire Damage Restoration Cost by Class

According to the Fire Equipment, Manufacturers’ Association, fires fall into five categories. Notably, fires can be labeled into multiple categories depending on the materials involved in the blaze. Fire restoration companies charge different pricing based on the types of fire damage that occurred on the property.

Class A fires are considered the most commonplace, involving typical combustibles such as wood, paper, and plastic. Class A fires involve solid materials, while Class B fires occur when l flammable liquids catch ablaze. Gas, petroleum, oil, and oil paints all fall in this category. However, fires caused from cooking oil and grease are not considered Class B fires. Instead, this type of fire is categorized as Class K. Along with cooking oil, any animal and vegetable fat could be involved in a Class K fire. Class C fires occur when an electrical fire happens on the property. Computers, motors, and appliances may all be affected by a Class C fire. Class D fires are considered among the rarest and occur when certain metals combust. Combustible metals include sodium, potassium, magnesium, and titanium.

The byproducts from the preceding fires impact cleanup costs. For example, Class A fires won’t leave behind the same type of debris as a Class B fire. The following are the prices you could expect to pay by fire type from a remediation company that plans to clean and deodorize a 2,500 sq. ft. home.

Cost to Clean 2500 sq ft After Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class K Fire

Cost to Clean 2500 sq ft After Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class K Fire


Fire ClassAverage Cleanup Cost - 2,500 sq. ft.
Class A$8,000 - $13,000
Class B$12,000 - $18,000
Class C$10,000 - $20,000
Class D$15,000 - $25,000
Class K$11,000 - $16,000


Cost to Rebuild a House After a Fire

Rebuilding a house after a fire takes a significant amount of time. Depending on the extent of the rebuild, you could be looking anywhere from weeks to months before the house is safe for reoccupation. After smoke, soot, chemical, and water removal, many contractors are hired for restoration purposes.

Restoration after a fire is costly because many structural components could be damaged. Each room will be assessed to see if repairs are needed to the sheetrock, insulation, electrical systems, and HVAC. Cosmetic changes will also be required, meaning you will likely have to put in new flooring and paint all the rebuilt rooms in the home.

Unless the home is a total loss and requires demolition, professionals try to salvage as much of the structure as possible. If the cost is more than the total home value, then the insurance company may write your claim off as a complete loss.

The following are the prices you could expect to pay for home restorations following a fire based on your property’s square footage. Professionals are likely to charge around $50 per sq. ft. for rebuilds after a fire.

Effects of Fire Damage

Fire byproducts released into the atmosphere are one of the biggest concerns following a blaze. According to the Department of Industrial Relations, toxic, flammable, and asphyxiating gases may be present in a building after a fire. When materials burn, they create what is known as toxic volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Even short-term exposure to VOCs could have detrimental effects on your health. Breathing issues, skin outbreaks, and eye irritation could all occur due to byproduct exposure.

Another issue to consider is structural instability. After a fire, the building may not be safe and could collapse. If a building fails, not only is the house destroyed, but the safety of all occupants is at risk. When handling debris, an injury could occur due to sharp objects.

Moreover, a high risk to the health of occupants after the fire is asbestos exposure. Certain furnishings and building materials could contain asbestos, especially if the home were built decades earlier. Exposure to toxic chemicals that may have spilled or been used in firefighting could also be detrimental to human health.

Electrical problems are commonplace after a fire. Exposed and damaged wires could lead to accidents like electrocutions. Electrical workers are often brought in to turn off any power to the building until the area is safe.


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Fire Damage Restoration Process

According to industry professionals, the 24 to 48 hours after the fire are considered the golden hours. If fire damage isn’t addressed as quickly as possible, the byproducts left behind continue to destroy the building. Repairing fire damaged homes within a short time frame reduces the overall project cost. Chemicals may corrode building materials, and moisture buildup may weaken a structure the longer you wait. Professionals follow set fire remediation steps to make your home safe again.

Fire damage inspection is always the first step in the process and is included in the total remediation cost. No rebuilding or burnt material removal can be done without confirming that the home is safe for reentry. Once emergency professionals have deemed the structure safe, an assessment can take place. Inspectors walk through each room to determine what areas have been affected by either the fire or methods used to put out the fire. Water, smoke, and soot damage will be assessed before considering any type of professional fire damage restoration services. A second inspection will take place after the water, soot, and smoke has been removed. The second assessment lets contractors know what type of construction is needed to restore the home.

Burnt and salvaged personal effects will be removed after soot, smoke, and water cleanup. The professional fire damage restoration company will then start on one of the most important steps: deep cleaning and deodorizing. Ozone treatments and thermal fogging are two tools used by professionals to remove chemicals from the home and freshen the air. Air scrubbers are also useful for getting rid of the smoke smell in a fire-damaged home.

The final step for repairing fire damaged homes is the rebuild process. A contractor will repair each room that has been damaged. The contractor may need to put up new sheetrock, paint, and lay new flooring. Structural work may also be needed, such as rewiring, insulation installs, and HVAC repairs.

How to Prevent Fire Damage

The prevention of fire damage should be a top priority for homeowners. A home fire not only risks the substantial loss of property but also puts occupants in danger. Installing fire protection devices is minimal compared to the cost of home fire restoration services.

Home fire sprinklers reduce the destructive potential of a home fire by up to 90%, which in turn may reduce your homeowners’ insurance premiums. They work by preventing the fire’s spread to other parts of the home by spraying it with water. They also lower the water usage in putting the fire out as they use 8.5 times less water than conventional fire hose reels. On average, the cost of installing home fire sprinkler systems is $1.75 per sq. ft. of space under the sprinkler.

Smoke detectors trigger alarms that alert occupants of a fire to escape safely. Two basic types of smoke detectors are available. Ionization smoke detectors use a small amount of Americium-241 in a chamber to detect smoke and cost $15 to $60. Photoelectric smoke detectors designed with a light-sensitive, electric sensor cost $30 to $80. A qualified electrician can install any of the smoke detectors in around one hour for $40 to $100.

Fire extinguishers help in fighting fire before the fire department arrives and reduce destruction. Multi-use home kits cost $35 to $75 with no additional installation cost. Fire extinguishers are rated, so make sure you check the device before choosing the type for your home. The higher the fire extinguisher number, the larger type of fire on which it can be used. For example, a 2A fire extinguisher equals about 2.5 gallons of water. The extinguisher will have a class rating to let you know what type of fire for which it is suitable. For example, Class B can be used on flammable liquids.


House in fire with flames coming out the windows under the eaves

Emergency Fire Restoration

All fires are usually considered in need of emergency attention. However, many companies advertise emergency fire and water restoration services to clients. Although the service provider may book an appointment within 48 hours of the fire, an emergency appointment may be made within a day of the blaze.

In rare cases, emergency fire restoration may not be needed. For example, if you’ve had a small, contained fire in a single area of the home. You may have had a grease fire that was put out quickly but resulted in some cosmetic damage.

Surcharges for emergency fire and water restoration differs from company to company. However, a same-day or next-day visit may add $200 to $500 to your final bill for remediation.

Fire Damage Insurance

Fire damage falls under homeowners insurance, but the value of the claim depends on the terms of each individual insurance contract. If the policy covers the “face value,” the insurance company compensates the homeowner only up to the original value of the damaged or lost item. Homeowners can be compensated for the cost of repair/restoration of salvageable, damaged goods or parts of the home or the cost of replacement of completely lost items.

Filing a fire damage insurance claim can be a stressful process. No homeowner wants to worry about not getting coverage from homeowners insurance after a fire loss. Always contact an agent after a fire to go over what steps will be needed to avoid delays in processing your claim. Document all phone calls and emails with the insurance company. Ask for copies of all important documentation to start a personal fire for your claim. Ask your agent about any issues like fire damage legal liability. For instance, someone else may be responsible for damages if the fire was started by a product that had a manufacturing defect. Also, ask about any items that may not be covered by the insurance company, like personal effects.

Most importantly, never move any items following a fire. Keep the home in its present state when taking photos for the insurance company. Also, the insurance company may want to approve any cleaning methods used on the property. Never begin remediation until you have the provider’s express approval.


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Additional Considerations and Costs

  • All contractors must be licensed as fire remediation specialists for home insurance approvals. Permits may be needed by the company depending on what type of structural repairs are needed.
  • Fire restoration is never a DIY project. Not only is fire restoration a dangerous undertaking, but you may void any insurance coverage by performing any cleanup independently.
  • Several costs may arise from wildfires passing near your home, including the costs associated with alternative accommodations elsewhere until authorities say it is safe to return to your home. These costs vary from $200 to $1,500 or more depending on the size of the family and the duration of the fire.
  • Other costs can arise from paying someone to keep a “fire watch” for several hours after a fire. The watcher’s work is to check and recheck for sparks, smoke, and hidden embers anywhere in and on the house. Owners can expect to pay $25 to $50 per hour for the service.
  • Cigarette smoke remediation can cost an average of $600 to $2,000, depending on the number of rooms that need odor removal. Ozone treatments are usually used for this type of smoke removal.

FAQs

  • How much does it cost to rebuild a house after a fire?

Most contractors charge an average of $50 per sq. ft. to repair a burned house. A complete rebuild costs around $100 to $125 per square foot.

  • How do you recover from fire damage?

A fire remediation company will come to your home and assist you with the recovery process. The professionals will guide you through the inspection, cleanup, sanitation, and rebuilding process.

  • How much does smoke remediation cost?

Smoke damage costs around $250 to $1,200 to repair after a home has been damaged in a fire.

  • Can smoke from a fire damage electronics?

Smoke is a corrosive agent and can ruin electrical components inside televisions, computers, and more.

  • Can a burned house be restored?

A burned house needs to have all damaged materials removed. The professionals will pump out any water and clean up soot and smoke from all surfaces. The house is then cleaned and deodorized. The rebuilding process involves the demolition and replacement of all compromised building materials.

  • How long does it take to repair fire damage?

The extent of the damage determines the timeframe for repairs. Repair work will likely take a minimum of a month for completion.

Cost to recover from fire damage varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
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Cost to recover from fire damage varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources