Tarrys Fire Chief Reminds Residents to Clean and Inspect Chimneys

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A pair of calls to Tarrys Fire Rescue last week are great examples of why everyone should check, inspect, and regularly clean their chimney.

Firstly, last Wednesday morning, crews were dispatched to a possible chimney fire on Glade Road.

Chief Gregg Patterson says no flames or sparks were visible, just heavy smoke, so crews headed inside and doused water in the firebox.

Once extinguished it was determined the chimney was no longer safe and must be inspected and serviced before further use.

A call the next morning to Lookout Road was for another possible chimney fire, which chief Patterson says was a similar scene, and again saw the chimney rendered no longer safe to use until properly inspected and serviced.

In both scenarios the aggressive heat caused by creosote buildup burning cracked the inner walls, which can quickly escalate into a structure fire at the points of damage.

Patterson says if you determine you have enough time, closing the damper and tossing water in the firebox can cause rising steam to slow down the blaze until crews arrive at the least; however you still always need to exit the building and call 911.

He urges everybody to regularly clean their chimneys to avoid creosote build-up.