How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Your Apartment After a Nearby Fire


Just because your apartment wasn’t the one on fire doesn’t mean you don’t need to do a ton of cleaning afterwards.

A few months ago the apartment below me caught on fire. I had stepped out to run a few errands before an out-of-town trip, and my neighbor had a cooking snafu that turned into a pretty horrific blaze. I came home to all my neighbors on the street, firefighters on my roof and a lot of uncertainty as to the status of my apartment since the fire was right below me (thanks to my WiFi security camera I was able to check on it outside).

My neighbor’s apartment ended up being entirely destroyed. Luckily, my studio and dog were fine, but my apartment was super smoky, and since it was right above the fire it was super stinky as well. The best way to describe the smell is burning plastic (most of the fire was paint, plastic tile, and kitchen cabinets after all). And I didn’t have renter’s insurance (huge fail on my part, don’t be me).

It was pretty unbearable for a few days, but after talking to a few fire cleanup professionals, here’s how I took care of the smell:

Open All The Windows

This one is pretty obvious, but was something I was hesitant to do. Since the fire was under me, there was still a lot of stink coming from the now nonexistent windows downstairs. Opening windows is a must, though. Get some fresh air in and let the gross air out. I also bought a window fan to help circulate air in and out of my apartment. I did leave the windows right above where the fire started closed, but everything else was open wide for days.

Get Fresh Air In

Get a huge fan and set it outside your apartment (if possible) and blow clean air in. This obviously isn’t something you…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

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Sasha Harriet

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