A homeowner at 625 NW Cottage got a lucky break Friday night. When neighbors saw flames coming out the top of the home’s chimney, they quickly called 9-1-1 and reported it. Fire units were barely four blocks away on 10th and responded. They were there in a couple of minutes.
They quickly ascertained there was a large accumulation of creosote in the chimney and set about to extinguishing the fire inside it. Since there was a considerable amount of smoke leaking through on the south side of the chimney they investigated whether any sparks or flame extended from the north side of the chimney into the interior attic area to the north. Fortunately, they found none.
Firefighters lowered a spray nozzle down the chimney which looks and operates much like an industrial grade mister. It had the fire out within 15 minutes. After firefighters made sure the fire was completely out, they strongly urged the homeowner to call a chimney inspector/chimney sweep in the morning and get the chimney cleaned out.
As ever: Make sure flues and chimneys are inspected annually. Infrequent fires can cause creosote build up in a chimney or flue. Burn only wood that’s been drying for the better part of a year. And while a wood stove or a fire is burning, walk outside and see what’s coming out the chimney. If it’s light smoke without sparks, you’re likely to be okay. If there are sparks or flames coming out, time to call the fire department and then a chimney sweep.