Beginner question: Door at bottom of fireplace. Usage?

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Old 12-20-12, 11:52 AM
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Beginner question: Door at bottom of fireplace. Usage?

Folks,
In my house there are two fireplaces, one on the ground level and the other in the first floor. The fireplace on the first floor has a small door on the bottom which leads to the outside with another door which can be opened from outside too. The door is around 4 inches by 6 inches. I am not sure what this door is meant for. It should be either for venting or removal of ashes. Can someone please clarify this? If it is for venting then how should it be used? should I open the vent before I start a fire? The fireplace at ground level does not have this small door.
thanks for your time.
 
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Old 12-20-12, 11:55 AM
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I can't say I've ever seen a setup like that before.
I would suspect it's to clean the stove and not make a mess in the house.
 
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Old 12-20-12, 11:58 AM
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Take a look at your fireboxes. Do you see a grate or hole in the bottom or back of them? If so it's probably an ash removal door. In the fireplace you shove the ashes down the hole and they fall into a chamber accessible by the little outside door so you can take out the ashes without the mess or smoke inside the house.
 
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