|
|
|
The Times
  • Herkimer fire chief: Take precaution to prevent chimney fires

  • During a cold winter’s night in the Mohawk Valley using the fireplace might seem like a good idea to stay warm, but if the fireplace has not been used and inspected for some time, chances are it could lead to a bigger problem.

    Chimney fires can occur at anytime in any home and it is important to understand how to properly use and maintain a fireplace.

    • email print
  • During a cold winter’s night in the Mohawk Valley using the fireplace might seem like a good idea to stay warm, but if the fireplace has not been used and inspected for some time, chances are it could lead to a bigger problem.
    Chimney fires can occur at anytime in any home and it is important to understand how to properly use and maintain a fireplace.
    Herkimer Fire Chief John Spanfelner said on Friday, “This year the village has had a lower number of chimney fires compared to other years, but there are still a few that happen from time to time.”
    On Christmas Eve, the Herkimer Fire Department received a call for a chimney fire at 6:10 p.m. The Herkimer and Ilion departments responded to the fire at 708 Church St.
    “It was a tough fire to fight,” said Spanfelner. “The fire began in the chimney and went into the attic where the fire got in between the walls of the house’s exterior.”
    While fighting the fire Spanfelner said a couple fireman were treated for blisters from the heat, but other than minor injuries, everyone was okay.
    According to Spanfelner, the fire was brought under control two hours after arriving on scene.
    The attic had succumbed to heavy fire damage, and there was smoke and water damage throughout the entire house.
    In order to prevent a chimney fire, Spanfelner advises those with a fireplace to have them inspected and cleaned every year, especially if it is in use. “If there is a crack in the fireplace and it’s lit, it will give the fire a chance to get out and spread upwards into the house,” he said.
    Spanfelner said the owners of the house where the Christmas Eve fire occurred had not used or had the fireplace checked in over two years. Unfortunately, due to an unknown crack in the fireplace, he said the fire escaped into the attic causing the chimney fire.
    “By having the fireplace inspected and cleaned, you can prevent a lot of heartache for yourself,” he said.
      • calendar