UPDATE: Chimney Catches Fire During First Use of Season

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 11/15/13 @ 4:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Mark Wilson was just trying to get warm for the winter when things heated up too quickly.

"I was sitting downstairs and I started to hear a loud roar," he said. "Flames were shooting out through the chimney about 20 feet in the air."

The fire was reported in the 1300-block of Wychwood Road about 9:50 a.m. Monday.

Wilson says he didn't have his chimney inspected before lighting it this year. Now, he wants to help others avoid the same mistake that could have cost him his home.

"This was the first time he lit his fireplace for the year," Captain Walter Johnson said. "There was a lot of buildup."

Crews say burning wood in your fireplace leaves debris in your chimney. If enough builds up, it turns into a big fire hazard.

The best way to tell if yours is clean is to get it inspected.

"You should have a certified inspector come to inspect your chimney before you light it for the first time of the year," Johnson said.

He says Wilson did the right thing by going outside and calling 911. That allowed crews to get there quickly and put out the flames in just a few minutes.

"All I could think of was my house burning down ... it was very scary," Wilson said.

Firefighters say they respond to several calls every winter season involving chimney fires.

They say it's particularly common in older homes where the chimneys have been heavily used.

The more a chimney is used, the more buildup accumulates there.

ORIGINAL STORY 11/25/12 @ 11 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Crews are on the scene of a chimney fire on Wychwood Road in Charleston.

The fire was reported in the 1300-block of Wychwood Road about 9:50 a.m. Monday.

Crews on the scene tell WSAZ.com that build up inside the chimney caused it to catch fire upon its first use of the season.

They say regular chimney inspections can prevent these common fires. Those inspections are suggested at least once a year.

The homeowner tells WSAZ.com he knew something was wrong when he heard a loud roar.

He said he went outside to see flames shooting out of the chimney.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

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