Chimney fire in Granville caused by build-up of creosote

Hampshire County

(Photo: Granville Fire Department)

GRANVILLE, Mass (WWLP) – The Granville Fire Department put out a chimney fire Monday morning.

According to the fire department, after noticing small flames coming from the chimney, crews found the interior of the pipe and chimney clogged with burning creosote.

Firefighters were able to clear the blockage and put out the fire with a combination of chains, poles, and dry chemical fire extinguisher. Dirty chimneys are the cause for most chimney fires.

More than 25,000 chimney fires account for over $120,000 in damage to property every year. Creosote is a highly combustible substance that is produced by burning wood and is usually found inside your chimney if it’s not properly cleaned.

“You want the chimney liner inspected by a professional every year to make sure there are no cracks,” said Jim Pula of the South Hadley Police Department. “The cracks are what’s going to cause, if you actually have a chimney fire, the cracks are going to cause the fire to spread into the house through the chimney.”

South Hadley fire hasn’t responded to any chimney fires so far this winter season. They say it could have to do with the unusually warm weather. But, with colder weather forecasted, that’s expected to change.

To know if you have a chimney fire, indications include a loud cracking and popping noise, a lot of dense smoke in your chimney, and an intense burning smell.

According to Mass.gov, most chimney fires occur because of a build-up of creosote and they recommend having your chimney flue cleaned before each heating season and to burn only dry, well seasoned, hardwood to reduce creosote accumulation.

“Heavy sparks, if you see heavy flames coming out of the top of your chimney, or at a neighbors house,” said Pula. “If you see sparks or flames coming from a neighbors house call the fire department, let them check it out to see if there is a chimney fire.”

The fire didn’t spread to the home but in most circumstances, it is a possibility so it is important to get it professionally cleaned or to clean it regularly yourself.

Firefighters say that if something doesn’t seem or look normal, to contact them so they can come over and take a look at it.

For tips on chimney and woodstove Safety click here.

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