A little after 8:30 Thursday night, North Lincoln Fire-Rescue was called out on a report of a house fire that was about to break loose at 1027 SW 62nd Street, Cutler City at the south end of Lincoln City. Residents said they had a flue fire on their hands and were trying to put it out themselves or at least slow it down while the fire department raced to the scene.
Firefighters arrived and slapped a ladder on the north face of the cottage type home, climbed up and discovered flame and smoke in the attic area, right above the living room. The fire was quickly extinguished. By then the residents were all outside, safe.
Firefighters say the wood stove was on the ground floor with a tall flue running up through the living room ceiling, up through the attic roof to the outside. Firefighters quickly discovered that the flue was heavily choked with creosote which burns very hot and over time had charred the area immediately around the flue as it went up through the living room ceiling. The attic floor around the flue had been heated and cooled countless times over the years clearly showing a charring pattern in the wood. As the residents fired up the wood stove this evening the floor of the attic eventually grew so hot the floor ignited.
Firefighters say wood and pellet stove flues should be checked annually for creosote build-up which can create hot spots along the length of the flue and ignite materials around them. They say always burn seasoned wood…wood that’s been allowed to age and dry out a few months. And have your flue or chimney cleaned every year – or at least every other year. They say creosote build-up is worse when you burn green wood and have only occasional fires.
* Inspect your chimney/flue annually.
* Have your chimney/flue cleaned annually or semi-annually.
* Burn ONLY seasoned wood. Never green.