Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chimney Fire

Relax! It is out now and the house is still standing.

Boy it was scary though!

With the cold snap we've been having, it was thought that lighting the old range would be a good idea. This range is connected to the chimney we ended up capping in 2008 as we had jackdaws trying to nest there. Since the extension was completed and we use our lovely oil fired boiler to heat the house, this range has been out of a job. This is the first winter in a few years we have thought about lighting it.

It turns out that we weren't fast enough with the chimney cap and there was a half-built nest in the chimney. We were wondering why the fire wasn't drawing as it should. I just assumed that the chimney was cold and that when it warmed up, it would draw better. . . . .

Well it warmed right up The room this range is in started to fill with smoke. I thought perhaps the wind had changed and the smoke was being blown in. I shut the doors to this room and cracked the window open to let some of the smoke escape. Then I heard the fire roar inside the range. I mean louder than normal. To make things even more dramatic, burning twigs started to fall down the chimney and onto the range. Yikes! Chimney fire!

I put a call into the fire department and then went to the kitchen and got a dishpan full of water.

I was flinging burning twigs back onto the range if they bounced onto the carpet. The water was there to manage any embers that I couldn't get.Where the burning sticks were coming from.

By the time the fire department arrived, the chimney fire had burnt itself out. It turns out that the flu to the range isn't as attached to the chimney as we had once thought. This is why I had the scary rain of fire. A call to our pal Kevin the builder/plasterer is in order I think!

The room this range is in is quite kippered. I'm trying to get rid of the smell of smoke. I've cleaned the windows, and dusted. I remembered that we had a bottle of Febreze in the kitchen. With this cold weather (and it is probably old) the product has sort of set into a jell. The bottle of fabric deodorizer is soaking in warm water for a bit to see if that makes it fluid once again.

So, that was yesterday - bonus for getting to see firemen! Lesson for the day: Have ALL the chimneys checked and cleaned every spring, not just the ones you use regularly.

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