JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two homes caught fire due to fireplace chimneys this past Saturday.
Fortunately, no one was hurt in either fire, but these fires serve as a reminder to properly maintain your chimney.
Some Jacksonville residents decided to keep warm by using fireplaces, but once their chimney fires started, they quickly spread.
“Both of them were the result of cracks in the mortar which then get inside and burn the wood,” JFRD spokesperson Eric Prosswimmer said.
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JFRD is reminding folks that even though we may only use our chimneys once or twice a year – they still need to be properly taken care of.
“It’s really important to have your chimney checked regularly, maintained and cleaned,” Prosswimmer said.
It’s not only about your chimney structure, but what you burn at the bottom. Officials told us fires can start from a buildup of creosote or from cracks and loose bricks.
“Make sure you’re burning seasoned firewood. Seasoned firewood is a lot dryer, burns hotter,” Prosswimmer said.
Firefighters said to make sure you have a cap on top of your chimney so no debris or wild animals get inside.
They said it’s also important the flue is open for proper ventilation.
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Even if you live in Florida, remember:
- Make sure your chimney is inspected annually by a professional.
- Do not use flammable liquids.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- If you have normal chimney soot, head to your local hardware store for a chimney sweep. However, if there is serious buildup inside your chimney, JFRD urges you to let a professional handle it.
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