‘Al­most a blow­torch’

‘Stub­born’ chim­ney fire knocked down in Falmouth

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS - BY COLIN CHISHOLM HANTSJOURNAL.CA Colin.chisholm@hantsjournal.ca

No one was in­jured fol­low­ing a dra­matic chim­ney fire in Falmouth, which fire­fight­ers say could have been much worse.

The call for as­sis­tance came in around 8: 50 p. m. on March 10 af­ter a fire was re­ported at 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, but smoke did en­ter other parts of the struc­ture.

“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 cleanout 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 fire­fight­ers 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.”

SUB­MIT­TED

Fire­fight­ers from Brook­lyn and Hantsport re­sponded to a ‘stub­born’ chim­ney fire in Falmouth on March 10.

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