Chimney fires reported as burning season heats up

By Tobie Baker Journal staff writer

No major damage or injuries were reported after two reported chimney fires this week.

The Cortez Fire Protection District was dispatched to its second chimney fire this week on Thursday, Dec. 5, after a passerby reported six-foot flames pouring out of a chimney on Road 26. Fire Chief Jeff Vandevoorde said firefighters extinguished the flames using a chimney bomb.

“A chimney bomb is a bag of dry chemicals that we drop down in the chimney,” he explained.

“We also had to use a dry chemical extinguisher,” he added.

No one was at home at the time of the blaze, Vandevoorde said.

“Thankfully, we caught it pretty early,” he said.

The first chimney fire of the season was reported at a South Market Street residence on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Despite the freezing temperatures, Vandevoorde said it’s never too late to have a professional chimney service inspect and clean a chimney.

“People need to be sure their chimneys are cleared,” he added.

Vandevoorde advised that chimneys corroded with creosote could easily catch fire. He said that once a chimney does catch fire, cracks in chimney seals pose a huge threat.

“Chimney fires often lead to attic fires,” he warned.

In addition to cleaning chimneys, Vandevoorde cautioned that every home should also be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector.

“During the winter, everyone tries to seal their homes up tight,” he said. “A carbon monoxide detector is essential.”

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