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Thread: my first chimney fire

  1. #11
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    Oct 2008
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    Take this advise from an old volunteer fire-fighter. We live in a rural area, and on the average in the fall of the year, we respond to about a half dozen flue fires. The easiest, and best way to put the fire out, is to take a single drinking glass of water, open the fireplace door and toss in the water. Close the doors, and close off all air inlets. Repeat after 20 minutes, if necessary.
    The water turns to steam and will smother the fire. A side note, if you have a true chimney fire (volcano as you referred to) you will hear it roaring like a freight train, with flames coming out the top of chimney. Been there done that. It is very scary to say the least.
    Pouring water down the chimney from the top, is not only dangerous, but also very apt to damage the chimney rockwork.
    Last edited by Old Sarge; 12-05-2010 at 03:54 PM. Reason: further explanations

  2. #12
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    Hey, Old Sarge, ever seen a chimney explode? When I was running with the VFD, We had a call out for a chimney fire. We get there, homeowner said they'd extinguished it. The chief was trying to convince the old lady to let us have a look just to be on the safe side. She said no, the fireplace was working fine(smoke out the top) and we proceeded back to the rigs. We'd just reached the rigs when KABOOM!!!!! The entire chimney was raining down on us. She was on the front porch, and was blown out into the yard. The fireplace/chimney was one of those old style that was outside the back wall of the house, and it took part of the wall with it. Fire Marshall said he'd seen it before, and she was lucky she was outside and not inside. The room with the fireplace looked like you'd thrown a grenade into it.

    Glad you're OK, Explo. Definitely get this checked, and EVERYONE with fireplaces/boilers/wood burning stoves take note. Even the newer metal ductwork can become a ticking time bomb.
    Μολὼν λαβέ (Molon labe), “Come and get them!”

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  3. #13
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    Oct 2009
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    East TN Smokey Mountains
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    lone eagle,
    thanks for going so light on me.
    one of my faults is trying to do too many things myself cause I am so cheap.
    fortunately this episode cost me mostly sleep and ego.
    but i now realize that DIY is very iffy with wood burning systems

  4. #14
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    Nov 2009
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    East Tennessee
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    Explo, So glad you guys are OK. Been thinkin about this today. I will be double checkin mine again before firing it up this year.
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

  5. #15
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    Apr 2010
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    WI
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    Wow, glad your family is alright! That was a close one, but luckily you're the kind of person who will learn from mistakes & do it right next time.

  6. #16

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    yeah we had one once, mom was burning candles on top of the logs when she had company, then that night we didnt think to remove the candles. NOW that is not smart had flames out the chimney that day.

    Glad your ok

  7. #17
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    Aug 2009
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    Glad your okay, but you really cant beat heating your house with an electric stove... that really seems to piss off the firefighters when you wake them for a tiny little arc that wont go out

  8. #18
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    Dec 2009
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    CNY
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    explo go to hearth.com and you'll find out how easy it is to prevent creosote.
    ...because without American there is no free world...you betcha!

  9. #19

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    How often do you guys have pros clean your chimney? I had it done last year and it seemed like they were in and out so quick I couldn't imagine they got much creosote out, but maybe they did.

    I've always been unimpressed with our chimney's draw. If I put too many logs in it definitely smokes in the living room but with a couple in it works fine. I just figured we had a small flue but I really don't know.

    Any ideas?
    "Wes says shoot their radios because without music they lose their will to fight" Robin Williams

  10. #20
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    I have a chimney sweep out every couple years. They don't stay much more than an hour. But I have checked out stove before he cleans it out. There is quite a pile of debris after the sweeping.
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

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