The Commercial Appeal

Colliervil­le inspection helps prevent fire

Faulty flue was charring roof

- By Matt Woo

David Stewart doesn’t think of himself as a hero, but some of his co-workers in the Town of Colliervil­le’s code enforcemen­t division think he saved a family from a life-threatenin­g situation.

In mid-January, Stewart, who has been a town building inspector for 20 years, was sent to Jackie and Chris Keller’s Colliervil­le home to inspect a coil replacemen­t inside the furnace.

Stewart did not give his final approval because the furnace’s flue pipe, which carries excess heat and carbon monoxide out of the home, was concealed and he was unable to get a complete view of it.

Stewart convinced the Kellers and town building official Tim Pendleton to allow him to investigat­e the flue pipe, and he found that it did not extend through the home’s roof and that gas fumes and exhaust heat were flowing into the attic.

“There was heat charring to some of the roof members and could have started a fire real easily,” Pendleton said. “In my mind he potentiall­y saved the lives of the family.”

Jackie Keller said the family was in Stewart’s debt. “I told him we’ll send him a Christmas card for the rest of his life.”

But Stewart brushed off their praise. “I’m doing my job and protecting the citizens in Colliervil­le,” he said.

“It’s what each of our inspectors do.”

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