I had a Chimney Fire - Fort Wayne IN - Old Smokey's Fireplace and ChimneyEvery year, fire departments receive a large number of chimney fire related calls. Some are minor, but some are major catastrophes that can result in the tragic and unnecessary loss of life and/or property. With home heating costs rising tremendously in recent years, more and more homeowners have turned to alternative methods of heating that are less expensive and more efficient to operate than central heating units, like that from fireplaces, inserts, and stoves. The potential for chimney fires has risen as a result of this more than usual reliance.


Get everyone out of the house and to a safe distance from the home as quickly as possible. Call the fire department immediately (preferably from a cell phone from outside of the home). Once you’ve had a documented chimney fire, do not use the heating appliance again until you’ve had a thorough inspection and cleaning done. Any chimney fire damage and subsequent repair is typically covered by your homeowners insurance policy; give them a call as soon as you can!


Your stove and/or fireplace were designed to safely contain a fire. Your chimney is designed to expel the byproducts of combustion. As these substances go up your chimney, creosote is formed via condensation caused by the relatively cooler flue air. Creosote is highly combustible. If enough of it builds up in your chimney, it’s only a matter of time before you could have a destructive chimney fire. You can lessen you chances by having an annual inspection and chimney sweeping. Unfortunately, however, not all homeowners place a large emphasis on having this critical maintenance carried out. As creosote burns, it can expand tremendously and can partially or completely block your chimney, which in turn can fill your home with heat and deadly smoke.


If you have a prefab chimney, a chimney fire can cause buckling or warping at the inner liner joints. If this occurs, the chimney should no longer be used until it has been replaced in its entirety. Masonry chimneys can have very high temperatures (upwards of 2000°F) during a chimney fire. These extreme temperatures can cause the mortar to fail, chimney liners to collapse and cause damage to the outer masonry materials. If tiles crack and/or masonry is displaced, this creates a pathway for the fire to easily spread to the wood structures in your home. Because of the high temperatures, enough heat can even conduct through a perfectly good chimney and ignite your home during a chimney fire.

Following a chimney fire, barring that the fire as been contained, the next steps would be to have it inspected by a chimney professional. Preferably one that is CSIA Certified and will give your chimney a thorough look and inspection to determine and asses any damage and repairs to get your chimney and fireplace working again safely.

The chimney service professionals at Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney want you to have a safe and happy heating season each and every year. Hopefully this information will be useful as you prepare your home for next heating season. If you have any questions about any of the information provided within this blog or if you’d like to schedule any fireplace, chimney and/or dryer vent services, please don’t hesitate to contact us; we’d love to hear from you! We look forward to helping you keep your family and your home protected and warm for the long haul!