Chief Timothy J. Grenno reports that the Whitman Fire Department extinguished a chimney fire at a home Wednesday morning.
At approximately 11 a.m., the Whitman Fire Department responded to a single-family home at 83 Westwood Drive for a report of a fire.
Upon arrival, flames were coming from the chimney of the home. All of the residents had made it safely out of the house. Firefighters worked to quickly extinguish the flames and prevented the fire from spreading into the home.
No injuries were reported.
The initial investigation indicates that the fire started due to creosote buildup in the chimney flue. The homeowner was using a wood-burning stove to heat the home.
The chimney sustained about $500 in damage and there was minor smoke damage in the living room of the house. The residents will not be displaced as a result of the fire.
The Hanson Fire Department provided station coverage and the scene was cleared around 12:30 p.m.
The incident is the second house fire that the Whitman Fire Department responded to in three days. On Christmas Eve, three families were displaced after a fire inside a multi-family home on Linden Street. After extinguishing the fire, firefighters were able to safely collect the Christmas presents that were inside and give them to the affected families.
To prevent chimney fires, the Whitman Fire Department recommends that residents:
- Have your chimney flue cleaned before each heating season and burn only dry, well-seasoned, hardwood to reduce creosote accumulation.
- Be sure to check the combustion chamber for damage and look for corrosion or damage to the vent before using.
- Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Be sure that the damper of the chimney is open before lighting a fire. Failure to do so can result in an accumulation of smoke and carbon monoxide within the home. Do not close the damper before the fire has died out and the embers are cold.
- Use a fireplace screen to prevent flying sparks and embers from falling out onto the floor.
- Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Be sure to properly dispose of ashes from chimneys and stoves. Ashes should be shoveled into a metal bucket with a metal lid, placed outside, on the ground, away from the building, to prevent fires. Do not place ashes into a paper bag or cardboard box, as ashes and embers can stay hot for days and ignite combustibles.