Recent Fire Damage Posts

Do I Call a Water Loss Company First Before I Focus on Fire Restoration in My Manhattan Brownstone?

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage to a kitchen in an apartment Fire damage to an apartment can leave you without a place to live for a while. Contact SERVPRO to get you back into your apartment.

Hiring a Full-Service Restoration Company Like SERVPRO Covers All Aspects of Fire Damage Recovery in Your Manhattan Home

The first thing that grabs your attention after a successfully extinguished fire in your Manhattan apartment is water. Vast quantities and significant contamination of the firefighting water by chemical extinguishing agents and fire residues are the challenges restoration companies face first.

Why Is Water Damage Treated First?

Fire restoration within your Manhattan living space nearly always includes water removal and structural drying. Water mitigation and remediation must occur before smoke and soot cleanup because:

Water incursion presents substantial safety issues.

  • Slip, trip, and fall
  • Electrocution risk
  • Hazardous substances contaminating the water, including toxins created during the combustion
  • Potential structural collapse when ceilings and walls collect fluids in cavities

Lingering standing water and moisture expose structure and contents to progressive destruction.

  • Weakening of structural supports including subfloors when wood swells and metal rusts
  • Deterioration of permeable materials like drywall, insulation, textiles, laminates, and more
  • Warping of wood flooring and trim
  • Growth of molds and mildews

Can One Restoration Company Have Expertise in Both Water and Fire Loss?

SERVPRO considers water and fire disasters to be the core focuses of our restoration business. We invest in our response team's rigorous training through coursework developed by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). We follow both the water and fire restoration protocols taught by this international standards establishment organization based on scientific principles.

The multiple certifications earned by our managers and technicians from the IICRC prepare SERVPRO of Upper West Side for every phase of fire restoration, from water management to residue cleanup to deodorization, and beyond. Call us at (917) 498-1362 to get a comprehensive fire damage recovery project on track for your home.


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Can Soot-Covered Appliances in My Upper West Side Kitchen Survive a Remodeling Fire?

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Has the Skills, Products, and Equipment to Restore High-End Appliances After Upper West Side Fire Damage

The irony is not lost when your brand-new artisan-grade appliances are coated in smelly, sticky residues after an electrical short in your rehabbing contractor’s equipment sets your Upper West Side apartment on fire. You finally proceeded with a long-needed kitchen remodel, only to have the bright, clean appliances purchased in anticipation of a redone and enhanced food preparation area reduced to a condition even worse than the grease encased decades-old kitchen suite it replaced.

Why Are Restorers Wrapping My Kitchen in Plastic?

Any blaze creates dangerous fumes and potentially hazardous fire damage to your Upper West Side home. residues. Upper West Side residents in elegant older apartment buildings can risk exposure to a wide range of toxic airborne and settled debris that could cause illness or injury. Our project manager recommends containment with 1.6 mil polyethylene and employment of air-scrubbing equipment to minimize debris spread. Our technicians wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to limit skin and respiratory contact.

What Hazardous Substances Concern Professionals?

Older buildings can contain lead-based paint, asbestos, and many different chemicals unleashed by the fire. When electrified circuits contribute to the fire, a term rarely heard today--polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs--can add an extremely worrisome substance to the mix if part of your building’s electrical system still utilizes applications using these materials. If SERVPRO suspects the involvement of these hazards, we arrange for certified technicians to abate the toxins.

How Will Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians (FSRT) Clean My Appliances?

Once we have the specified hazards remediated, our Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)-trained crew assess the various fire residue-damaged appliances. We consider two major, intersecting aspects of the damage:

The characteristics of the surfaces affected:

Are they solid or porous?

What are the materials used?
- Glass
- Plastic
- Composite
- Metal
- Wood-faced (build-in units)
- Laminate
- Veneer
- Hardwood

What kind of a finish do they have?

- Matte
- Glossy
- Brushed
- Stained or painted

The characteristics of the soot deposited on said surfaces:

Usually, an electrical fire produces thick, sticky soot. Protein-based residues can also form if food or grease in the kitchen heats up during the blaze. The protein-based residue is highly malodorous and attaches to the appliances like a lacquer or varnish, yellowing, or otherwise discoloring them. Although the combination of the two types of soot presents a cleanup challenge, it is one we see frequently and resolve successfully.

How Do We Use the Data About the Appliance Surface and the Soot?

When we match cleaning products to soot, we always keep in mind that we want the residue to loosen, become suspended in solution, and rinse away. With large and stationary objects such as appliances, we use a spray and wipe technique to apply the product, agitate, and remove the cleaner and the dissolved or suspended residue.

What kind of product should we use?

We always keep in mind that “like dissolves like.” If the soot is determined to be water-based, we use a water-based cleaner. Protein-based and some synthetic-based soots need a solvent or oil-based cleaner. In multi-soot circumstances, detergent bridges the difference.

What kind of agitation should we use?

The durability of the surface helps us judge what kind of scrubbing or addition of abrasives an appliance cabinet can endure. We want to make sure a little “elbow grease” does not remove or dull a finish. Adding a lubricant can protect the surface while allowing a gritty compound or tool to exert gentle abrasion to remove residues that cling persistently.

How long should the cleaner be in contact with the surface?

Adjusting the pH of a cleaner can help break the bond between the residue and the surface. Permitting dwell time of a cleaner to exceed suggested limits can corrode, tarnish, pit, or etch some appliance finishes. If laminate applied over another material makes the appliances look like built-ins, we are careful not to soak the surfaces as delamination might occur.

What extremes of temperature can the surface handle?

Raising the temperature of a cleaning product urges the molecules to move faster during a chemical reaction. Appliances featuring plastics might experience warping if the temperature rises too high.

What can professionals do about discoloring?

Bleaching either adds oxygen or removes oxygen from the chemical structure of residues. Enzymes break up organic residues, permitting our technicians to wipe them and their staining away.

Have confidence that the professionals from SERVPRO of Upper West Side can assess your kitchen’s fire damage and plot a course to make the soot and smells “Like it never even happened.” We await your call 24/7 at (917) 498-1362.

Unusual Reasons Upper West Side Homes Experienced Fire Damage

4/12/2020 (Permalink)

flame and candle in a glass container SERVPRO Says Diligence and Safe Practices Can Help Prevent House Fires in the Upper West Side

Fire Damage Happens! Be Prepared and Call SERVPRO for Swift Cleanup and Restoration

While an average of 1.3 million fires occurs each year in the United States, the majority of them have their ground zero in the kitchen. There are some not-so-common reasons fires started, many of which were preventable such as improper storage of flammable chemicals or loose electrical outlets in your Upper West Side Unit.

Before a fire damage event occurs in an Upper West Side home, it is a good idea to establish a disaster-ready plan. If a fire happened, who would you call? What items are most important to save? It is a good practice to inspect your property monthly for things that could be fire hazards and correct them. Test your smoke detectors to make sure they are in working order. And then, learn from the following out-of-the-ordinary reasons a fire loss happened.

Glass Bottles and Jars Have Started Fires
When sunlight shines through a glass jar or bottle, the light has the potential for refraction. This action results in heat, and it can be intense enough to start a fire. One homeowner had a fire start from a jar in the window that directed a beam of sunlight onto the kitchen curtains, which ignited.

Animals and Fire Loss
From damaged electrical wiring from mice to a cat knocking an unattended candle onto the floor, both can result in fires. A home security system with video monitoring can help, and if signs of a rodent infestation get noticed-handle it as fast as possible to lessen the possibility of a loss.

Malfunctioning Appliances
Most people know that dryers and ovens cause fires in the home on occasion. Another culprit is the humble dishwasher. Filling an electrical appliance with water, what could go wrong? Due to the presence of the heating element, if water leaks around it, the outcome can be a fire. If you detect any signs of leakage around your dishwasher, do not use it until it gets repaired.

What to Do When a Fire Loss Does Occur
One of the best things to do is bring in professional help for the cleanup and restoration. SERVPRO technicians have the equipment and advanced methods to bring your home back to its preloss condition.

What About Other Fire Hazards?
After the restoration efforts complete, SERVPRO techs are happy to assist homeowners in an inspection of their home and show them elements to look for to lower the risk of another fire or a water leak.

SERVPRO of Upper West Side, when called at (917) 498-1362, restores properties affected by fire damage. The technicians bring their knowledge, skills, and equipment to make the fire loss to your property, "Like it never even happened."

Manhattan Dwellers Deal Best with a Fire and Smoke Loss with SERVPRO's Assistance

2/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech wiping down stairwell walls and ceiling from soot SERVPRO Professional Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration Tech Cleans Soot from Outside a Manhattan Residential Building

Unraveling Puzzles Left by Fire Damage in Manhattan

When a fire burns your Manhattan condo, it is likely to leave damages at the source and other sections of the property even if the flames are doused early. Although most of the damages, such as charred materials or surfaces are easy to locate and understand, some outcomes of fire incidents leave homeowners puzzled. Hiring a professional restoration team can help you understand the damage and find the right solutions.    

The deposits left after fire damage in Manhattan units can form unusual patterns. For example, the homeowner may notice blacked dots where nails lay hidden beneath the drywall. It might appear as if the fire pulled out the nails. The popular name for this phenomenon is nail pops, and it forms due to magnetism in smoke residues. The residues drift towards the metallic nails resulting in the nail pops even though the nails are still in place. Our SERVPRO technicians inspect the surrounding drywall, and if there are no other signs of severe damages, we can clean the area to remove the residues.

Smoke residues may also collect in areas you would not expect them to. For example, rooms that were closed off from the main areas affected by the fire may have high concentrations of smoke residue. Such outcomes occur because closed windows and doors cannot hinder smoke movements. Areas isolated from the fire also tend to be colder, so smoke tends to concentrate there because it moves through convectional currents, hot air circulates toward cooler air.  Our SERVPRO technicians check all concealed areas, including cabinets, to eliminate all smoke residues.

It is common for fires to leave a stench in the affected areas. In most cases, the smell goes away after removing charred debris and cleaning the area. It can, therefore, be puzzling for the smell to linger after doing a thorough cleaning. The odor particles can penetrate deep into materials, especially since the heat from the fire opens up pores in materials. Neutralizing the odor particles is the only solution to a stubborn odor problem. Our SERVPRO technicians can use ULV foggers or Ozone generators in extreme cases, which produce different agents that combine with odor particles, neutralizing them.
 
It is easier to deal with fire-damaged property with help from a professional team. Call SERVPRO of Upper West Side to help. You can reach us at (917) 498-1362 at any time. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

We Can Help You Restore Your Manhattan Apartment After A Fire

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

A room in this property covered in soot and smoke damage after a fire We have the certified personnel, expertise, advanced training, and state-of-the-art equipment to restore your property to pre-damage condition.

Manhattan's Fire Damage Restoration Technicians Point Out Various Types Of Deodorants

The odds show that if you live in an apartment in Manhattan for long enough, then there is a decent chance that something will burn inside your complex. Even if your unit does not initially become the victim of fire damage, the smoke coming from the blaze inside another group can still negatively affect your dwelling. Depending on the characteristics of the burn, partially burned particles or smoke can travel throughout your building.

The smoke itself can cause problems with your building materials and contents. During many fire damage projects in Manhattan, smoke can leave behind pungent aromas and soils or soot residues. During some situations, our SERVPRO crew notices that most foul smells go away once all burnt materials and soot residues get removed from the negatively affected structure. In other cases, where the smoke has penetrated your contents and building materials deeply, unpleasant odors can still exist even after all soils and soot residues have been cleaned.

When smoke-like smells tend to stick around, our SERVPRO technicians can use other deodorization methods. Most deodorization techniques are found to be effective by using one or a combination of a large number of chemical agents. Each type of deodorant that can be useful during smoke mitigation works to eliminate odors differently after fire damage.

One common type of deodorizing agent works by masking. These masking agents use more pleasant aromas to cover up pungent ones. A different kind of chemical called a pairing agent works differently by causing a chemical reaction. Pairing agents have molecules that chemically bond with malodor particles and neutralize them.

Filtration agents are other types of products that can be used during deodorization. Some chemicals, like baking soda, work through absorption or by absorbing moisture into the substance. Different products work by adsorbing malodor particles or capturing gases and holding them on the surface of the gent.

Utilizing a variety of deodorization methods can prove to be useful when eliminating aromas caused by different types of smoke. If you ever notice smoke damage inside your apartment unit, call SERVPRO of Upper West Side at (917) 498-1362 24/7. We can help you restore your home to its original condition, "Like it never even happened."

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DIY Manhattan Fire Damage Restoration Can Lead to Further Complications

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

Cord plugged into outlet burning A fire in a neighboring apartment can damage yours. Don't DIY the restoration. SERVPRO is available 24/7 to take your call.

Limitations of DIY Fire Restoration in Manhattan Apartments 

Fires can become a substantial challenge to face, especially in confined Manhattan studio apartments. With several units on each floor, a fire anywhere near your residence could leave you contending with any number of concerns, including harsh odors, soot particulates, debris, and structural compromise. As tempting as it might seem to clean and restore these occurrences on your own, inadequate cleaning and recovery can lead to further complications. 

Because of the open area in studio apartments, fire damage in Manhattan properties can affect nearly every personal belonging, piece of furniture, and structural element in the unit. Even if your neighbor’s apartment is where the fire originated, shared walls can allow for the penetration of microscopic soot, smoke odors, and other threats into your apartment. Quickly overcoming these concerns requires trusting in the experienced hands of our SERVPRO professionals to help, as there are limitations to DIY restoration. 

Inadequate Inspection 

Our project manager and crew chief can work alongside our customers to determine the full scope of the fire damage. We can document loss, damage to contents, manage the pack-out of compromised belongings for focused cleaning and attention, and work with your insurance provider to afford the work. DIY assessment can often leave damage undiscovered, allowing it to worsen over time or remain a threat.

Deodorization 

The infiltration of odors from even neighboring units can be impossible for ill-equipped apartment owners to face on their own. With the open floor plan of your studio apartment, we must deploy effective deodorization strategies like our thermal fogger or hydroxyl generator to neutralize harsh scents on contact.

Soot Removal 

Soot is a hazardous situation, precisely because of its microscopic size and ability to generate health concerns for those directly exposed. DIY restorers should be mindful of these threats, and trust in the safety-focused SERVPRO team arriving to help. 

There are definite limitations to DIY fire restoration, but our SERVPRO of Upper West Side team can work to get you back to preloss condition quickly. With our experience and premier equipment, we can make these loss incidents “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at (917) 498-1362. 

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Cleaning Soot from the Belongings of Your Manhattan Apartment

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Apartment building, the top floor burned. Bottom two floors tarped off, with a dumpster outside the building. Fire damage will take over your Manhattan apartment home, let us help you.

Let SERVPRO clean soot from your Manhattan Items.

We have multiple strategies that exist to reduce the presence of soot and smoke residues on surfaces and the contents of your Manhattan apartment. With a confined space that many property owners must contend with, nearly all of your belongings can become affected by even a smaller-scale fire loss incident within the apartment. While many residents lack the training and skill to address these concerns on their own, more and more have trusted in the experience and equipment of our SERVPRO brand to help during the crisis. 

Content management is a vital component of our recovery of fire damage in Manhattan apartments like yours. We understand how concentrated effects can become, especially in units that do not have an open floor plan, and we must work quickly to face these immediate effects to safely remove affected and damaged possessions. We can move these items to our nearby facility for focused cleaning and deodorization, which is necessary when contending with soot and smoke residues. 

Not all cleaning practices work the same for every item damaged by the recent fire loss in your apartment. For hard materials that are not compromised by submersion in a solution, the ideal practice for addressing soot buildup is an immersion practice. Most often, this involves the use of our ultrasonic tank, which is full of a powerful cleaning product. Items get entirely submerged in this solution, and vibration from sound waves generate microscopic bubbles that burst creating an action that breaks up the soiling and leave the surface of the material clean and vibrant. 

This equipment in our SERVPRO facility is often the only cleaning that many of the damaged items removed from your apartment require before they get safely stored until they can get returned to your residence. Ultrasonic tanks are ideal for ceramics, silverware, glass, and other hard items that can be costly to replace or resurface. 

Removing soot and smoke residues can be a challenge for even our experienced SERVPRO of Upper West Side professionals at times. With our advanced equipment and our line of powerful cleaning and deodorization products, we can make all fire loss incidents “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call anytime that disaster strikes at (917) 498-1362.

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Manhattan Multi-Tenant Building Management Should Consider SERVPRO for Fire Loss Mitigation

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Fire, Smoke, and Odor Containment in a Manhattan Apartment Is a Job for SERVPRO

Prevent Fire Odors from Spreading Through a Manhattan Apartment

Many consequences from fire loss incidents require an immediate management plan within Manhattan apartments. Effects from these disasters can not only spread quickly through the affected source unit, but any neighboring properties sharing common walls, floors, ceilings, and hallways, as well. While installed suppression systems can often make short work of the combustion and flames, lingering consequences like soot and smoke odor can present hurdles property owners must overcome to return their residence to preloss condition.

While containment strategies are one of the specialties that you can expect from our SERVPRO professionals overcoming fire damage in Manhattan apartments, there are ways that you can limit this spread on your own. One of the first steps that you can take once the fire has gotten suppressed in your unit is to gear up with personal protective equipment including respirators, gloves, and other safety gear and work to begin cleanup and recovery of the apartment.

Our SERVPRO team would encourage homeowners and apartment owners alike to proceed with caution when attempting to remove substances like soot and smoke residue from surfaces, contents, and construction materials. Though cleanup of these damaged areas can help to reduce lingering odors in the apartment, specific approaches are necessary to prevent smearing and staining.

Another approach that property owners can consider to help contain the spread of odors after a fire has gotten extinguished is to rent air purification machines with a HEPA filter. These units can help to reduce the concentration of particulates circulating through the air and can work to provide a barrier that prevents much of the damaging effects from the fire from spreading elsewhere in the apartment or neighboring units.

With how standard apartments are to our borough, owners have to not only care for their own living space, but also those of the neighbors sharing walls and floors. If a situation gets too widespread or overwhelming, you can always count on the expertise and industry-leading equipment of our SERVPRO of Upper West Side team. We can arrive quickly to make fire losses “Like it never even happened” when you call (917) 498-1362.

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How to Deal With Fire Damage Remediation in Your Manhattan Apartment

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

One small appliance can be a large source of trouble for some homes. Contact SERVPRO today for any fire damage remediation assistance.

A Small Space Heater Can Be A Real Threat to Your Manhattan Apartment

When you live in Manhattan, you are subject to unexpected temperature drops even though summer is right around the corner. To warm up just a bit, you may plug in an old space heater in your living room without realizing that its wiring can pose a threat to your apartment. Once it causes a fire, you realize just how vulnerable we are to accidents, even if they seem minor.

Despite your quick response in using a fire extinguisher, there still is fire damage to your Manhattan apartment, and you want to make sure to address any potential trouble this may cause. Our SERVPRO crew is at your service to assess the extent of the damage and help you restore your home. All you need to do is call us as soon as disaster strikes. Our team is available 24/7 and ready to mitigate your losses by acting quickly and effectively.

Aside from the smoke and soot residue left by the fire, you may wonder whether your belongings can be salvaged. Our SERVPRO team analyzes the path of the flames and also considers the nature of each element that suffered. Synthetic materials such as plastics do not burn in the same manner as natural materials do, such as wood. Understanding the difference is crucial in applying proper cleaning and disinfecting agents to each affected surface of your home.

Ridding your home of the foul smoke odor is also essential. Our SERVPRO staff understands the buildings in New York City and applies deodorizing agents in a way that is specific to the materials used in your home. We have at our disposal many options for eradicating the smell, including odor pellets, charcoal-activated filters and even thermal fogging. Whether the fire was big or small, we want to eliminate all its traces.

New York City living is fast-paced and vibrant, and SERVPRO of Upper West Side wants to make sure you do not miss a beat. Call us at (917) 498-1362 and let us leave your home "Like it never even happened."

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Where to Begin With Cleaning Your Fire Damaged Manhattan Condo

4/2/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Upper West Side to restore your fire damaged home.

Cleanup after Fire Suppression in Your Manhattan Condo

Fires that occur in your Manhattan condo can often get quickly extinguished with fire suppression systems installed in the property. While this can often prevent catastrophic damage to your residence, these same suppression systems can often create widespread damaging effects of their own if not cleaned quickly and adequately. Our professionals have a prompt response to fire emergencies, and we have training in the recovery of properties contending with residues from suppression systems to get you back to your normal life quickly.

Recovery of fire damage and cleaning up the residues of fire suppression products in your Manhattan condo should begin as quickly as possible. Our SERVPRO professionals have a 24/7 response to fire emergencies to ensure that no customer waits for the mitigation and cleanup solutions that their property needs. This approach also includes protecting and cleaning the contents of your condo affected by this residue or effects from the fire itself.

From the time that our SERVPRO team arrives at your condo, we can get to work on establishing the full spread of the fire damage to set up containment and begin mitigation. Our contents department can earmark damaged or at-risk items for removal to our nearby facility. These same professionals can provide focused cleaning and deodorization for affected items and safely store these items until restoration completes. While these items are getting packed up for their transport, our IICRC-certified cleaning specialists can begin work on removing the fire suppressant residue from the walls and surfaces throughout your condo.

Dry chemical fire extinguisher residue is among the most common to clean up after the suppression of a smaller fire. Whether this has gotten installed above your stove or has come from canisters installed strategically around the condo, removing this residue requires a specific approach. With sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonates, cleanup requires a mixture of cleaning solutions to neutralize these chemical compounds.

While suppression systems and fire extinguishers can keep a fire from getting out of control in your condo, the cleanup of the lingering residue requires skill and knowledge. Our SERVPRO of Upper West Side rapid response team can make all aspects of fire damage “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call anytime at (917) 498-1362.

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How Professionals Clean Fire Extinguisher Residue From Your Manhattan Apartment

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Fire suppression systems requires special cleanup.

Restoring Fire Suppression Damages in Your Manhattan Apartment

Over range fire suppression systems are becoming more and more common throughout Manhattan homes and properties to reduce the fast spreading nature of kitchen flare-ups. While these might quickly put out a potential fire, it does not happen without damages and a mess of its own to face. Powder suppression can spread the extinguishing material throughout the affected area, and when coupled with smoke and soot damage from the small fire, can become problematic to overcome without the right training and equipment.

After a small kitchen flare-up that engaged the suppression system, you get your first look at the fire damage in your Manhattan property. Residues from powder, smoke, and soot affect many of the surfaces in the immediate area and cleaning these as promptly as possible can reduce the possibility of staining. If the damage stays primarily contained within the kitchen, our SERVPRO team can isolate this area with the use of thick plastic sheeting and other containment strategies.

The wipe down process can reduce and eliminate a large portion of this residue from surfaces within the affected areas. Quickly cleaning these damaged surfaces can help to reduce the possibility of requiring replacement of certain materials by protecting and preserving cabinets, appliances, flooring, ceilings, and even the HVAC system if soot, smoke, and residual powder get pulled into the ductwork.

Lingering odors are another problem that property owners face after a kitchen fire. Our SERVPRO professionals have advanced equipment like our hydroxyl generators that can help to significantly reduce or permanently eliminate noxious odors throughout this kitchen area. The containment that isolated this affected region of your home can help to ensure the effectiveness of the deodorizing equipment.

Powder suppression systems can sometimes cause more of a mess than smaller fires that they work to prevent. Whether you need cleanup or full restoration to your fire-damaged structure, our SERVPRO of Upper West Side restoration technicians can help. Our rapid response team is available 24/7 by calling (917) 498-1362.

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