FALMOUTH, N.S – Nobody was injured following a dramatic chimney fire in Falmouth, which could have been much worse.
A call for assistance came in around 8:50 p.m. on March 10, 2018 to a home on Highway 1, in Falmouth, near the Petro Canada gas station.
Hantsport Deputy Fire Chief Paul Maynard said the older, two-storey house presented several challengers to responders, as the fireplace wasn’t up to code.
“The first arriving officer’s report was that there was an extensive fire throughout the entire chimney, coming out the top three to four feet,” Maynard said. “It was described as almost a blowtorch.”
Maynard said the fire remained isolated to the chimney, however smoke did enter other parts of the structure. Nobody was injured.
“There was a tremendous amount of creosote built up in the chimney,” he said. “The other problem we ran into was that the chimney had two steel liners and there was fire between the clay and steel liners, which caused some difficulty.”
Another major hurdle for firefighters was the lack of a clean-out at the bottom of the chimney, meaning they couldn’t access the debris.
“It really wasn’t up to code,” he said. “A team was deployed to the rough and a team actually created an opening at the bottom of the chimney, to make a clean out basically, so they could access the hot ash that was falling down.”
Maynard said the chimney structure was rendered unusable following the fire.
Traffic was briefly reduced to one lane as crews responded. Maynard said it took fire fighters approximately an hour to get the fire under control, leaving the scene an hour later.
“Probably one of the more stubborn chimney fires we’ve had in some time because of the extent of the fire and the process we had to go through to extinguish it,” he added.
Brooklyn and Hantsport volunteer fire departments responded to the call.
Maynard encouraged all residents that use wood burning appliances in their home to get them cleaned and inspected at least once a year.
“They’re a great source of heat but can be very dangerous as well if they’re not maintained on a regular basis.”