ROCK HILL, Mo. — It's not what you'd expect to see at a place that restores things damaged in fires, but the fire at Woodard Cleaning and Restoration left many St. Louis area homeowners in disbelief Monday night.
A business that was supposed to be fixing those damaged things had a fire of its own. Now, many fire victims are having to relive their pain, all over again.
"It is absolutely incredible to go through it twice," Kat Schneider- Clark said.
Inside Schneider-Clark 's temporary home, she plays her piano. It's a way to calm her from a somber past.
"It is a kind of stormy Monday, isn't it," she said. "We lost everything."
Just eight months ago, a fire swept through Schneider-Clark's home in Chesterfield while she sang at a local bar in town. Her husband was the first to notice something was off when they got home.
"He screamed at me that something was wrong because the door was like melted. It was horrific," she said.
The flames turned all of her photos, most of her furniture and musical equipment into ash. She even lost her pets. Only a few items were salvageable.
"It wasn't healthy to try to keep much because of the toxic soot that was everywhere," she said.
Schneider-Clark said a day after the fire crews from Woodard Cleaning and Restoration stepped in to help repair and rebuild her home. They even took some of her charred belongings to their warehouse to try to restore.
"They've been good to us. They've been very good to us," she said.
For months, Schneider-Clark had watched as crews made progress on her new home. She hoped to one day return her personal items back to her shelves, but on Sunday, she suffered a setback.
"We were numb and in shock and terribly sad," she said.
Woodward's warehouse caught fire and wiped nearly everything of sentimental value from its existence. The massive building is where Woodard stores people’s belongings after a fire at their home. The company goes into homes to salvage what they can, storing the items in the warehouse before treating them for smoke damage and returning them to the families.
"The thought of losing all of our photos that's super heartbreaking," she said.
Schneider-Clark said she fears her last items are lost forever. However, she says the most important things still remain in her life.
"We will just try to carry-on, but it'll be interesting to hear what is salvageable if anything from that fire or not," she said. "Before both of the fires, things were more important to me than they are now. "Life is more important just carrying on from day-to-day."
Woodard said it has contacted all of the people affected by the fire, including Schneider-Clark. They are in the process of determining how many people were impacted and what caused the fire.
Schneider-Clark said she plans to stay in her temporary home until she can move back into her permanent house in the spring.