There was a bad fire (everyone got out of the building in time, thankfully. It could have been so much worse!) in the apartment upstairs from mine. We didn't get any fire damage but there was a lot of water and everything smells like smoke. There's a mitigation company handling cleanup and they've been great so far. They got all the water up and wet drywall out quickly, got fans running to dry everything out.

But everything still smells like smoke. I can do a ton of laundry but I'm wondering if there are specific things I can do to clean furniture, especially things like beds and blinds that didn't get wet but still smell of smoke.

Update: we've more or less determined that the mitigation company was not great and hadn't followed through. I worked with my neighbors to hold them accountable and get the place actually cleaned up. As it turned out, they also hadn't fully addressed the water damage and we have had to replace a ton of sheetrock that got moldy. The moral of the story is that your insurance should pay for mitigation but you'll need to make sure they really do do their job.

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    Usually the mitigation company will handle that also. Have you discussed with them? It may also fall into your responsibility. Do you have renter's insurance?
    – jwh20
    Oct 5, 2020 at 17:43
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    The building next to mine burned down, and it smelled VERY strongly afterwards. But, the smell basically dissipated on it's own after a week or two or three. Clean what you can, but don't worry if it still smells a little, that should go away on it's own, and it's likely the smell is still being replenished by the burnt items in proximity; once they strip out the main burnt stuff, the whole block will smell normal. A month later, you could barely tell...
    – dandavis
    Oct 5, 2020 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


As commented, this is usually part of the mitigation company's deal, as the tools are a bit specialized (serious ozone generators, for one thing) and they may have access to ones a bit more serious than any you may be able to find to rent, as the rental company may not be comfortable with the hazard level of putting those in consumer hands.

Other methods they might use include using the upholstered furniture mode of a typical "rug cleaner" (spray wet solution and vacuum it out, generally with a smaller nozzle for furniture than for a floor.)

  • Added a note, but you were correct: the real issue was that our mitigation company was being very flakey. We are still working with an insurance expediter/advocate to ensure that all of the damage is fully addressed.
    – Amanda
    Jul 12, 2021 at 16:14

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