Disaster avoided after chimney fire at Penhold home

A chimney blaze that fire officials said could have been worse was quickly put out by Penhold firefighters on Tuesday evening.

A chimney blaze that fire officials said could have been worse was quickly put out by Penhold firefighters on Tuesday evening.

Fire crews were called to a report of a house fire on Bouteiller Close in Penhold. Penhold Fire Chief Jim Pendergast said crews were on scene within about five minutes of the call and had the fire put out within another five minutes.

“They came home, they put their wood stove on and then the kids came upstairs and told their dad something was wrong,” said Pendergast. “They checked on it, he shut the damper and it didn’t help anything. They immediately called 911 and evacuated the house.”

The source of the fire was a wood stove and chimney in use at the time. About $5,000 worth of damage was done to the wood stove, chimney and roof around the chimney.

Pendergast said crews used water and foam to extinguish the fire and thermal imaging cameras to determine the fire’s location. The cause of the fire was a buildup of soot and byproducts of wood burning completely blocking the chimney.

“You need to make sure you maintain it,” said Pendergast. “You should call a professional in to clean your chimney. Even though people use the logs that clean the chimneys out, it is best to get a professional in to clean it.”

It isn’t just wood burning fireplaces or stoves that need to be cleaned this time of year either. Furnaces should also be serviced to prevent fires.

“As the weather gets colder, furnaces are used more and more and the furnace needs to be checked as well as getting vents cleaned,” said Pendergast.

Crews were called to the scene at 7:54 p.m. and stayed until 10:10 p.m. ventilating the house until the temperature was below -20C, initial readings in the house were above 150C, carbon monoxide readings were at zero and oxygen was at 21 per cent.

Four trucks and 14 firefighters responded to the call.

No one was injured during the fire.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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