Fred A. Mitchell Jr., Fire Chief
47 Central Street
Georgetown, MA 01833
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Georgetown Fire Department Responds to Chimney Fire
GEORGETOWN — Chief Fred Mitchell Jr. reports that the Georgetown Fire Department extinguished a chimney fire last week.
On Friday, Feb. 2, at approximately 6:30 p.m., the Georgetown Fire Department was dispatched to a residence on Bartlett Drive for a report of a chimney fire.
Engine 1, Engine 4, Ladder 1 and Car 1 responded. Upon arrival, firefighters on Engine 1 found embers and smoke emitting from the chimney.
Crews from Engine 1 then entered the residence to assess the fireplace and check for extension to the first and second floors, along with the attic. Thankfully, the fire had not extended.
Firefighters then placed a ladder up to the chimney and roof. They noticed that there was a blockage approximately 2 feet from the top of the chimney and that the flue had partially collapsed.
Crews quickly extinguished the fire and removed the blockage. No injuries were reported.
“This was a best-case scenario in terms of chimney fires in that there was no extension into the home,” Chief Mitchell said. “We’re thankful that no one was injured, and cannot stress enough the importance of completing fireplace maintenance at the start of heating season to ensure everything is in safe, working order.”
To prevent chimney fires, the Georgetown Fire Department recommends that residents:
- Have your chimney flue cleaned before each heating season and burn only dry, well-seasoned, hardwood to reduce creosote accumulation.
- Be sure to check the combustion chamber for damage and look for corrosion or damage to the vent before using.
- Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Be sure that the damper of the chimney is open before lighting a fire. Failure to do so can result in an accumulation of smoke and carbon monoxide within the home. Do not close the damper before the fire has died out and the embers are cold.
- Use a fireplace screen to prevent flying sparks and embers from falling out onto the floor.
- Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Be sure to properly dispose of ashes from chimneys and stoves. Ashes should be shoveled into a metal bucket with a metal lid, placed outside, on the ground, away from the building, to prevent fires. Do not place ashes into a paper bag or cardboard box, as ashes and embers can stay hot for days and ignite combustibles.