House fire and fumes

Dear all .

Due to brain fog and feeling tired I didnt get around to putting a lighter away after lighting our woodburner. My seven year old boy sneaked the lighter upstairs and set light to his bedroom.This became quite a serious fire which ruined their room and covered the upstairs of our house in soot and tar. Lots of kind people having been helping us clean up and my cleaner came did 5 hours and refused any money. Just tried to sleep upstairs with my 9 year old for the first time and couldnt stay because of fumes. I am sure my skin and lungs are covered in toxins. Any advice. I am thinking lots of vitamin C and maybe charcoal tablets plus walks over the park in the fresh air. Really worried about social services getting involved again and maybe the children having to go into foster care while the house is sorted so dont want to contact the council and declare us homeless.

15 Replies

  • Hi mandy, thank goodness you all were not hurt. I think wearing a mask might be a good idea if possible. I'd probably bunk downstairs for a while.

    I don't know of any treatment for smoke/soot inhalation but there may be something online.

  • Hospital check up and professional cleaners are, will be and were best best way to look after your and yours sons health. Not Vitmin C! I know about after effects of smoke inhalation, we had a serious fire many years ago!

  • Thanks Sambs. The fire brigagde said the house was safe for us to go back too in the morning after and I dont think we inhaled any smoke as such it is just the fumes left after. The insurance company should provide professional cleaners today and are finding somewhere else for us to live.

    I will phone the GP and ask if we need a hospital check up. The boys seem well and have gone to school today.

  • House plants!!! Apparently they're amazing for cleaning the air. I put on our fire - despite knowing the chimney needs swept and that it doesn't draw well anyway - and the whole house was full of smoke, fumes and chemical smells. Happened to watch a programme a couple of days later showing the remarkable results certain plants can make within even a day.

    Good old English Ivy is great

    Mother in law's tongue

    Peace lily

    Areca palm

    Golden pothos (devil's ivy)

    Spider plant

    Aloe Vera

    I bought a load the other week in a mad panic and I can't believe how much clearer the air in the house feels.

    Remove things like formaldehyde, benzine, even molds...

    You can also buy air purifiers that have filters build into them that catch the airborne particles. I bought one when we moved into this old house and it helped tonnes.

    I hope this helps!


  • Thankyou, that is so helpful. Isnt nature wonderful. Ill get some more plants.

  • Absolutely amazing. I feel so stupid that I've not had loads of house plants before. The environment feels so alive now! Xx

  • I'm so sorry to hear you'd been through this awful experience, what a shock and a distressing time for you.

    I use house plants a lot too and was going to recommend peace lilies. Anthuriums are good too. Dendrobium orchids are very good for a bedroom as they clean the air and have the added benefit of releasing oxygen during the night.

    I also invested in a Meaco Airvax as it's the only one of it's price range to remove VOCs, it cost about £130.

    Hope things help.

  • Just seen this post come Round again today - the mention of aloe Vera reminds me it's also good on skin for scratches or skin lesions.

  • Mandyjane,

    I am sorry to hear about your fire and pleased that you are all ok.

    Inhalation of the toxic gases from a house fire are serious and may be given off for a while even after the fire is out.

    VIT C is excellent and thyme is good for upper respiratory issues and can be used by your children.

    Charcoal tablets are good for absorbing poisons as pass straight through the digestive tract and out of the body but unfortunately will not absorb cyanide.

    I would speak with your doctor.



    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.


  • Another way of detoxing chemicals from your body -sweating - I don't know if you have gym membership where there's a Sauna?

    Go in sauna until you just start to sweat, a sheen not yet rivulets then quickly go out and shower to wash the toxic sweat off your skin then back in the sauna and all over again. Do three/four times each visit.

    Don't rub the sweat off with a towel or let it get to rivulets stage because you start to reabsorb the chemicals then, and/or the towel just rubs them back in.

    I've got liver detox pathways issues so was recommended it as a technique to detox the chemicals we found in my blood results.

    If you don't have access to a sauna, I don't know if hot steam showers would do anything the same but might be worth a try.


  • Just looked it up and I think there is a sauna I can use locally for £5. Thankyou .

  • Really hope you feel better quickly. XX

  • Wow! I just have to comment on the amazing wealth of knowledge available from the users of this site - Fantabulous!!

  • Hi

    So sorry this has happened its not clear if you are a home owner or renting.

    If a homeowner you would not be homeless as you say insurance will provide accommodation while house is being sorted.

    If renting you may need to inform landlord

    As Children are involved Fire Brigade may have a legal duty to report further but it does not mean your children will be put in foster care.

    Social Services do try as much as possible to keep family's together.

    I hope this goes a little way to help with your fears

    Best Wishes Rose

  • Dear Rose,

    We are now in bed a breakfast provided by our insurance company so have somewhere clean and dry to stay. We havent heard from social services which is great. Thanks for your reply


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