Carol Wideman’s 1905 three-family home was badly damaged in a fire on July 4, 2019. Fireworks from the neighborhood ignited the house next door and then spread to her house. Luckily no one was hurt.

Watch this project from start-to-finish in all-new episodes of This Old House starting the first week of April on PBS. Check your local listings.

BEFORE: Photos of the Dorchester Triple Decker Project

Fire Damage

Meg Reinhardt

The back of the house received most of the fire damage. The fire was so intense vinyl siding melted in some spots. The majority of interior walls were saturated with water.

Family History

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

Carol lived in this house for 39 years before the fire. This retired accountant raised her own children and fostered kids in-need in this home. She shared the apartments with her two sisters and 3 nephews. She wants to restore the building to its original state.

Beautiful Built-Ins

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

This Old House host Kevin O’Conner chats with builder Charlie Silva about an original built-in cabinet inside the home.

Getting Rid of Asbestos

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

The interior ductwork of the home needs asbestos removal before any construction begins.

Kicked-Out Door

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

The door to the back staircase off the third-floor kitchen shows where firefighters kicked through the door. It will be replaced with a fire-rated door.

Outdated Electrical

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

The house still has remnants of old knob and tube wiring.

Preserving the Old

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

All three apartments in the home feature an original decorative mantel surrounding a non-working fireplace in the front parlor. This Old House plans to preserve all three mantels.

Saving Original Doors and Hardware

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

Most all of the interior doors are original and will be maintained in the renovation.

Back of the House

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

The view from the back of the house shows some of the fire damage. The house to the right is where the fire originated and is also under construction.

View from the Front

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

Thankfully, the fire did not damage much of the front of the house.

Second-Floor Bathroom

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

This is the view from the bathroom on the second floor, where the tub will be replaced.

Bedroom Re-Do

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

A view from the front bedroom of the third floor of the house.

Back Bedroom

Dorchester Project House, Season 42

Meg Reinhardt

The house’s back bedroom on the third floor will also get restored.

Watch this project from start-to-finish in all-new episodes of This Old House starting the first week of April on PBS. Check your local listings.

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