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  • Writer's pictureIan Myers

Safety Warning - A True Story

I was called by an elderly woman living alone.

Her house was full of smoke. I had to go get my mask so I could breathe.

She had a raging fire and her chimney looked like this!

I told her I had to put out the fire. I scooped out the flaming embers into a steel pail and began dumping them outside. I climbed to the chimney and removed the cap- not easily- it was impacted with glazed 3rd degree creosote. There was only a 2 1/2 inch hole in the chimney that should have been 6 inches.

I had to remove the entire flue pipe and chimney to clean it properly. I was there for 6 hours.

She had a high-efficiency wood stove and top of the line Excel Chimney. How could this happen?

The stove should have had 5 firebricks for the smoke shelf in the stove. There was only 1 1/2 bricks left. Not good.

It was a creosote machine.

If, in your travels you ever see a chimney that looks like this,

please bring it to someone's attention. No chimney would have survived a chimney fire with that kind of 3rd degree impacted glazed creosote. The house, possibly lives would very likely be lost.


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