Alert Neighbor Calls 911 for Chimney Fire
May 27, 2009
A neighbor from the 101 of S. Whitney Way noticed smoke and flames coming from 5146 Juneau Road and called 911. The neighbor called again, shortly after talking with 911 and told them they could now see lots of smoke and flames along the roofline. Fire crews were dispatched at 6:49 AM.
Engine 9 crew was first on the scene with Ladder 2 and extinguished a chimney fire within 8 minutes. Fire damaged the upper portion of the chimney, along with the chimney cap. No damage occurred to the interior of the home.
The resident was home at the time, while burning a fire in the fireplace. The homeowner was unaware of the chimney fire, until he heard firefighters in his backyard and alerted him of the fire.
No one was injured as a result of the fire.
Damage estimate is $3,000.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests the following:
Most fireplace and chimney fires were caused by creosote build-up.
• Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, chimney connectors and all other solid-fueled heating equipment inspected annually by a professional, and cleaned as often as inspections suggest. Use only wood that is properly seasoned to reduce creosote build-up.
• Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. Allow fireplace and woodstove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Have any gas-fueled heating device installed with proper attention to ventilation. If unvented gas space heaters are used in bedrooms or bathrooms, make sure they are small and well-mounted. NFPA codes prohibit use of liquefied petroleum gas heaters with self-contained fuel supplies.
• Test smoke alarms monthly; install a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area.
NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training and education.
- Bernadette Galvez, 608-279-7168