House Fire Case Study: Residential Fire at a Notable Artist’s Long Island Home

house fire


A fire occurred at the home of a notable modern artist, who was also a well-known advertising executive and author of children’s books, Norman Gorbaty. Since Mr. Gorbaty was late in his career, the collection of art was massive. Due to the fire, the extensive collection was exposed to heavy soot and humidity from the fire suppression.

Paul Davis of Long Island was called late at night to mitigate the loss. Once the art collection was identified, they placed a call to Prism Specialties Art of NYC & LI at 1:00 PM. Within two hours, the Prism Specialties Art team was on-site securing the artwork and developing a plan for pack out for Paul Davis to begin mitigation.


  • Art Portfolios of works on paper: watercolors, charcoals
  • Sculptures, objects, sketches for children’s books
  • Carved wood panels and ornate wood furniture
  • Over 5,000 pieces of art


Arrive at the loss as quickly as possible, arrive at the loss to begin containment of damage to artwork. Both Paul Davis of Long Island and Prism Specialties Art of NYC & LI had to coordinate closely. Art and collectibles had to be packed out professionally, room by room, for Paul Davis to follow closely with mitigation and containment.

Secondly, it was important for both companies to professionally guide the artist and his family through the process and gain their confidence that all would be taken care of professionally.


  • Prism Specialties was onsite 6 days over a two-week span; working within PDRs timeframe and mitigation process.
  • Paul Davis needed speed and responsiveness to focus on mitigation and construction and trust that the art and collectibles were being handled professionally by a trusted preferred vendor
  • On-site within 2 hours to protect and secure as much art as possible
  • The artist and his family needed to trust and approve all art handling
  • Less than 5% of the art was a total loss