There's no such thing as a good house fire, and yet if this was to happen, of course a small, localised fire that can be quickly contained is preferable to a larger, destructive fire. In the event of a small fire, you will want to clean up and return your home to normal as soon as possible. There's a right way to go about this.
Assess the Safety of the Building
Is your home still habitable? Have a word with the fire department about the extent of the fire once it has been extinguished. If there is any doubt, arrange for a building inspector to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the damage as soon as possible. Find alternative accommodation for you and your family while you wait for this to happen.
Even a small fire can wreak havoc, particularly if it has damaged a wall, rendering it structurally unsound. In an extreme case, damage to a load bearing wall can make the entire building uninhabitable until extensive repairs have been carried out.
Document the Damage
Take a number of photos of the damaged area of your home. Providing these to your insurance company can help with your claim. If at all possible, find some recent photos of the area before the fire, in order to show the extent of the damage. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Once you have ensured that the building is safe and the damage has been documented, you'll want to begin the job of cleaning up. Was water used to fight the blaze? The room will need to be dried. Hiring an industrial dehumidifier is the most effective way to do this, particularly in humid climates when simply airing out the room will not be sufficient.
Carpets will need to be steam cleaned, as will your soft furnishings. Curtains that were not damaged by the fire will still possibly smell of smoke. Take them down and examine the care instructions. If they can be machine washed, do it yourself. If not, take them to a dry cleaner. Get some specialist sponges. These are marketed as chemical sponges, chem sponges, or soot sponges and are designed to remove smoke and soot damage from walls, floors, and ceilings without the need for additional water.
Fire damage is something you will never have to deal with, but by following these straightforward tips you can get your home back to normal quickly and efficiently.