Peterborough Fire Chief urges annual checks upon fall’s first chimney fire

  • Peterborough Fire Department Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/29/2020 2:09:20 PM

It’s that time of the year: the Peterborough Fire Department responded to the first chimney fire of the cold weather season at 7:18 Thursday morning. The fire caused little damage and extinguished quickly, Fire Chief Ed Walker said, but can serve as a reminder for all residents with alternative heat sources to inspect and clean their chimneys.

Emergency personnel responded to 461 Union Street after the residents could hear the creosote in their woodstove chimney igniting, Walker said. Chimney fires sound like a small jet engine going off, he said, and first responders dismantled the pipe and made sure it was cleaned out. There was a little smoke in the attic, but not enough to trigger a smoke detector, he said. The fire stayed contained in the stovepipe and there was no damage to the rest of the house, and the residents will have the chimney professionally cleaned before they use the woodstove again, Walker said.

Whether homeowners have a woodstove, a pellet stove, or a fireplace, they should make sure it’s cleaned and inspected prior to use at least annually, and more frequently if it’s used heavily, Walker said. Smoke detectors should be operating in every heated and habitable area in the house, he said.


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