Flue Fire,what to do...

Old 06-27-05, 02:17 PM
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Flue Fire,what to do...

I am purchasing a home that has a fireplace with a wood burning insert. The flue at one time experienced a fire. What do I need to do to get this fireplace and insert back in working order? The current owner has disclosed that the fire was put out by the fire department using some sort of smoke bombs and no water was applied. I dont know if it is a tile flue or metal. I beleive the fireplace itself is around 100 yrs old. But is intact. From looking from the ground up on the outside, it looks as though there may have been 3 flues going up, but I may be wrong on this. Also there is a ventilator installed within the fireplace. I think it is called a ventilator, it dispurses heat throughout the home, the front of the fireplace has vents on each side, and the wood stove actuall sticks out onto the hearth. Thanks for any help that you may be able to give.
Old 06-27-05, 08:07 PM
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In order to ensure this fireplace and chimney are safe to use you will need the written opinion of a qualified and INSURED chimney sweep or installer.
Also, you must make sure that this installation meets current fire codes because if it doesn't you may not be insurable.

The fire declaration raises a pretty big red flag IMO.
Old 07-02-05, 02:23 PM
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Chimneys in general

Chimney fires are caused by a buildup of creosote and other charcoal-like materials from continual use of the fireplace. If the buildup is sufficient it will ignite when using the fireplace. On top of that, chimneys deteriorate over time and have cracks and other structural problems way up inside that you can not examine without sophisticated equipment. These cracks contribute to the chemical buildup and also can seep poisonous gasses into your house. At a minimum, you should have the chimney cleaned by a chimney sweep now, and periodically if you plan to burn wood. I would go the extra and safe mile and have your chimney relined, which is basically a long balloon stuck down the chimney from the top and concrete poured around it. This will eliminate most and maybe all of the above mentioned cracks and other blemished that can cause big time problems. Doing this will not decrease the effectiveness of the heat flow system you described. Also note that if you convert to a natural gas or similar system, you should still have the chimney cleaned to eliminate the pre-existing buildup, but you won't have to later because obviously burning natural gas or propane doesn't cause the buildup.

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