Fire Dept.: Chimney fires are preventable with proper maintenance

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - The Twin Falls Fire Department responded to four chimney fires in the past year and a half.

Fire Capt. Devin Slagel at the fire department said although chimney fires are rare, they do happen.

He said the fires are preventable with proper maintenance and cleaning, and he recommends cleaning your chimney at least once a year at the end of burning season.

"Chimney's are designed... There is a lot of heat buildup and it just depends on if the chimney is cleaned and serviced and in good shape. It will minimize the danger," Slagel said.

He said creosote is one of the causes of chimney fires.

"Probably one of the biggest unknown is the creosote build up that is caused by combustion from using wood burning or wood pellet stoves," Slagel continued. "Creosote's a by-product of combustion. It builds up over time in the chimney flue in the chimney itself."

If creosote buildup does happen, it can be a danger and can ignite and cause a chimney fire, he said.

Slagel said as we head into winter, make sure to check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

If a chimney fire happens, he said closing the air flow might be able to extinguish it. If not, then do standard procedures like call 911 and get out of the house.

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