Paul Davis Completes Total Fire Loss Project in Jacksonville

November 25, 2013 // // Jacksonville, Fla. - Marguerite and Mike Mumford, owners of Paul Davis Restoration of North Florida, have announced the completion of a major fire damage restoration project at Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Sekine’s residence, 2648 Beauclerc Road in Jacksonville, Fla. In March 2012, the $1.2 million fire loss was a high-profile incident when Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department (JFRD) responded to calls from neighbors about the large house fire in the afternoon. There were no injuries and no one was at home when the fire began at the riverfront property which was valued at $1.4 million. The Paul Davis team was called in by the homeowner’s insurance carrier to secure the property and contents, and restore the structure to the owner’s specifications.

The two-story, 7,000-square-foot home with five bedrooms and five and one-half baths incurred damage from a fire that started in the breezeway and garage, while permeating most of the structure with fire, smoke and soot damage along with water damage. The two-alarm blaze was estimated at 1,800 degrees which is several hundred degrees above where steel begins to weaken. It took nearly 4,000 gallons of water for the firefighters to control the fire in approximately 45 minutes. And, since the closest fire hydrant to the home was 500 feet away, tankers were also brought in to combat the fire.

According to Mike Mumford, his crews were able to start the project just one day after the initial fire with board-ups and tarps, demolition and salvaging most of the family’s belongings and contents, however some items were destroyed in the fire. Paul Davis’ contents cleaning team carefully took an inventory and tracked and monitored the hundreds of pieces of valuable contents while transporting items to the company’s franchise office and contents cleaning plant at 2111 N. Liberty Street in Jacksonville. Many of the homeowners’ cherished family heirlooms and collectibles, plus fine art required painstaking repairs and cleaning by hand while some of the artwork needed to be sent to nationally-recognized art restoration experts.

During the project, Dr. and Mrs. Sekine moved into another residence in Jacksonville Beach for the duration of the repairs and rebuilding with daily visits to the job and close work with Paul Davis and crews. Ned Beatty, Paul Davis’ Project Manager headed up the repairs and all crews. He set up an office at the Beauclerc home to oversee the job and work with the Sekines on the detailed project.

Beatty also worked closely with Paul Davis team members including Jonathan Hicks, estimator; Obi Dorsey, director of emergency services, and Jane Lynn, contents cleaning manager. The restoration team consulted with Ray Scott, the homeowner’s interior designer on the exterior and interior design plans and installation aspects at the home. Paul Davis’ team of skilled craftsmen and local subcontractors focused their attention on the homeowners and guided them through each phase of construction everyday. The Sekines were very involved in project milestones as they had complete trust in the crew and gave them great responsibility during all phases of reconstruction.

After the initial demolition of the garage, breezeway and roof areas, Paul Davis used dry ice and pressure washing to carefully clean layers of thick fire and smoke damage and soot on the framing and brick. The materials were sealed to protect the surfaces and some of the framing was sprayed with shellac. Afterwards, the damaged garage and breezeway areas were totally removed. The roofline was redesigned, reconstructed and raised approximately eight feet and all new cement roofing tiles and copper flashing was installed. The enclosed breezeway became an efficient office space and stairway to the upstairs bonus room. The new office area was one of the most challenging aspects of construction due. The tight space with 400-square-feet required access to the upstairs while eliminating a circular stairway and building a new stairway with decorative steel cable railings and banisters.

The previous bonus room became a 600-square-foot state-of-the-art home theater complete with leather seating, custom wall coverings, decorative lighting and an advanced sound system. Since the fire was mostly contained in this area of the home, the work in the room was intricate while creating an extended roof line to support the three-car garage below and upstairs design changes.

The second-floor fire damage included thick black smoke and soot that permeated the bonus room, bedrooms and a den along with office space and bathrooms. The master suite was reconfigured to include a balcony foyer entrance overlooking the first floor and a master bath suite complete with a steam shower environment and whirlpool bath, plus new cabinetry and granite countertops, fixtures and appliances. The master bedroom was redesigned to include larger his-and-hers closets while eliminating a see-through fireplace. The upstairs walkway along other bedrooms and a laundry room was expanded and re-floored in natural wood to increase an open view to the downstairs.

The first floor living areas included an all new kitchen, appliances, quartz counters, and a reconfigured pass-through to the living room. The existing skylights in the kitchen required exact measurements to fit into the new space. The music and billiards rooms were restored and included some replaced items. Paul Davis carefully restored the homeowner’s wood pool table and re-felted the surface. Many built in cabinets and bookcases in these areas were caked with smoke and soot which required replacement. Intricate custom marble and tile flooring, carpet, moldings, wall and window coverings, and a new paint palette were completed throughout the home.

The grand foyer staircase to the master suite and other bedrooms required a redesign that included detailed repairs from smoke and soot damage along with painstaking wood work, pickling and color-matching the paint colors and custom staining. The stairs and railings were rebuilt with metal support reinforcements to meet building codes and to maintain the design similar to a Frank Lloyd Wright motif and an updated mid century modern appearance.

Interior leaded and stained glass in hallways, the living and music rooms, and bedrooms and also glass in the clear story entryway windows and front door were saved and refurbished along with restored woodwork that was reinforced to support the glass. The glass windows to the exterior of the home were replaced due to fire and smoke damage. Some of the most intricate work in the house included the teak and leaded glass front entryway doors which were cleaned by hand and repaired by glass experts.

A key new entryway feature included Paul Davis’ design and construction of recessed, rope and LED lighting that runs along the 25-foot ceiling from the entryway into the entertainment areas of the home. The lighting supported the contemporary design of the home and added dimension and visual effects. Additionally, the homeowners entertain frequently and the existing bar area was protected during construction with some redesign. A bench was built for additional seating which replaced a planter.

Sections of the kitchen, living room and billiards areas were also reconstructed to remove tray ceilings and new lighting was installed. The project also included the replacement of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC), insulation, drywall and electrical. The homeowner’s interior design team headed by Ray Scott of Jacksonville, replaced most of the damaged furniture and some items were reupholstered. The interior designer also installed new interior window treatments and selected new lighting fixtures for the interior and exterior of the home, among other improvements.

The project was considered to be a needed update to the home which was originally built in 1989 and customized by the homeowners. The Sekines were greatly satisfied with the finished project. "This is a job well done. We raised our family here and wanted the work to look new and fresh, yet modern and contemporary. We did not want to build an entirely new structure," said Dr. Sekine.

"I love this house and we overcame a very devastating experience, but now I have a new and safe environment and it’s beautiful," said Sheryl Sekine. "We have learned that Paul Davis differs from other general contractors and appreciate the full-service capabilities. Plus, the staff is outstanding and they have our complete trust," she said.

According to Mumford, repairing and rebuilding the Sekine’s home included efficiently and effectively working with the couple and the entire team. Close communication with insurance agents and adjustors was critically important. "This was a significant residential project. We were fortunate to be working with a great customer. They had full confidence in us, our crews and subcontractors to do the job right and to meet deadlines," he said.

According the Sekines, the house is a big part of their lives and they have enjoyed the property for close to 25 years. "Paul Davis and our design team helped to create a stunning environment from such extreme devastation. Now, that we’ve rebuilt a sound structure, we’re ready to relax," he said. "We are grateful for the outstanding work provided by Paul Davis and the company’s highly-specialized capabilities."

Marguerite and Mike Mumford own Paul Davis franchise offices which serve customers in Alachua, Baker Bradford, Clay, Dixie, Duval, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Levy, Nassau and Union counties. The Jacksonville office is located at 2111 N. Liberty Street in Jacksonville. The company's Gainesville office is located at 3499 NW 97th Blvd, Ste. #10. Visit the website at

About Paul Davis Restoration, Inc. 

Paul Davis Restoration, Inc. is a national franchisor and leading provider of restoration services for residential and commercial properties since 1966. Paul Davis Restoration also provides advanced mold cleanup services and has franchise locations throughout North America with owners and technicians who are certified by The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). For more information, visit the website at

SOURCE Paul Davis Restoration, Inc. 


Marguerite Mumford


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