Friday Morning Fire Linked To Wood Burning Stove

Friday, January 19, 2018
- photo by Battalion Chief Don Bowman
Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a duplex fire shortly after 7 a.m. on Friday, at 2601 Taylor Street.
 
Battalion Chief Don Bowman said the fire was in the "A" side of the duplex.
The occupants on both sides of the duplex got out safely. The firefighters located the fire in the floor underneath a woodburning stove. It took them less than 10 minutes to extinguish the fire.  

Chief Bowman ruled the cause of the fire as accidental, saying the woodburning stove was improperly installed and was not being monitored properly. The fire was contained to one room, with the dollar loss estimated at $2,000. 

Here are some safety tips related to wood burning stoves and fireplaces:

- Use a metal or glass fireplace screen to keep sparks from hitting nearby carpets or furniture. 
- Be sure the fireplace or stove is installed properly. Wood stoves should have adequate clearance (3 feet) from combustible surfaces and proper floor support and protection.
- Wood stoves should be of good quality, solid construction, and design, and should be evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
The stove should be burned hot twice a day for 15-30 minutes to reduce the amount of creosote buildup.
- Have your chimney inspected annually and cleaned if necessary, especially if it has not been used for some time.
- Don't use excessive amounts of paper to build fires in fireplaces. It is possible to ignite creosote in the chimney by overbuilding the fire.
- Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room.
- Keep flammable materials away from your fireplace mantel. A spark from the fireplace could easily ignite these materials.
- Before you go to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out. Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper will help the fire to heat up again and will force toxic carbon monoxide into the house.
If synthetic logs are used, follow the directions on the package. Never break a synthetic log apart to quicken the fire or use more than one log at a time. They often burn unevenly, releasing higher levels of carbon monoxide.
Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire.
Never burn charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal can give off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide.
Allow fireplace and wood stove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal ash bucket or container.
Keep or maintain a 3 foot clearance between all heating equipment and anything that can burn.
Inspect and maintain heating equipment regularly for safety. 
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home.
For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. 


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