It was a Friday leading up to Easter in 2019, and Katrina Wright was entertaining friends for a Lenten supper.
“I had been having a glass of wine upstairs with a girlfriend in a sitting area, and we went downstairs to eat with the men,” she recalls. “I went back upstairs to grab the wine bottle and the room was on fire – it was smoldering. I ran downstairs to tell everyone to get out, and by the time I got back upstairs, it was fully on fire.”
The fire department concluded the electrical fire started through a lamp in one of the Wright’s upstairs bedrooms. The 1927 home suffered extensive interior damage to the entire second floor as well as some first-floor damage from the water needed to extinguish the fire.
After the fire department, Katrina’s first call was to a friend who also happened to work for Michaelis Corporation.
“He came over within minutes, and on the way, called another co-worker,” Katrina says. “They walked me through what the clean up and restoration would entail, and I said yes. My son had gone to school with the Michaelis family, so I knew them. And the next day, they helped me move the furniture, fabrics and electronics. It was amazing how quickly they had a response team there.”
The restoration took several months, concluding in November 2019. Katrina says her project manager Dave Doyle handled every detail, completely taking the burden off her shoulders.
“When someone has gone through a major event like a flood or a fire, it’s overwhelming,” Doyle says. “Construction comes naturally to us, so we handle all the coordinating and scheduling, we bring samples of everything to them if they prefer. That’s just part of what we do.”
Since the Wright’s home was built in 1927, Doyle says they worked hard to keep the authenticity of the older home intact, while adding new character, too.
“We saved some of the old, restored it, and blended it with the new construction,” he says. “For example, we saved many of the hardwood floors and refinished them, saved a couple windows and the original fireplace set up. Then we took out a wall that opened up the stairwell, and that gave it a lot of character. We took a wall out between the kitchen and the dining room to open it up.”
As pleased as she was with the workmanship and finished product, Katrina’s biggest compliment is the customer service she received. “Anytime I would call Dave, he was so great getting back to me. If there was a scale of 1-10, he is a 12. They have exceptional people working for them, they are great communicators. Richard, the owner, is always accessible. They’re a great company.”