Fred A. Mitchell Jr., Fire Chief
47 Central Street
Georgetown, MA 01833
For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Contact: Chelsea Curley
Georgetown Fire Department Extinguishes Chimney Fire
GEORGETOWN – Chief Fred Mitchell reports that the Georgetown Fire Department put out a small fire that ignited inside a chimney earlier this week.
On Tuesday April 26, at 8:46 p.m., firefighters responded to 6 Saw Mill Road on a report that the residence’s chimney had caught fire.
The fire was contained within the chimney and did not extend into the home. However, firefighters remained on scene for an hour-and-a-half due to the excess buildup of creosote on the smoke shelf inside the chimney.
Creosote is a black or brown crusty, tar-like, sticky, shiny or hardened substance that is highly combustible.
“Chimneys should be cleaned and inspected each year to ensure creosote is removed and that the fireplace is working properly,” Chief Mitchell said. “We are thankful that no one was injured during this incident and that the home did not sustain significant damage.”
To prevent chimney fires, Chief Mitchell recommends that residents follow safety tips from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:
- Have your chimney flue cleaned before each heating season and burn only dry, well-seasoned, hardwood to reduce creosote accumulation.
- Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Be sure that the damper 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. Ashes from the stove or fireplace 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.