On the morning of Sunday, March 27th, Bedford Fire and EMS made their way to a residence on Quarry Lane for a reported issue with a chimney. A resident had been burning a fire in the fireplace, and saw heavy smoke and embers coming from the the chimney cap at the roof line.
On arrival, we located debris on the exterior of the chimney, and light smoke from the stack. Rescue 44 crews removed the fire from the fireplace as well as all remaining ash, and extinguished in a safe area outside the home. The flue was opened and a visual inspection was done through the chimney; the house was also metered and vented for smoke and lingering low-level carbon monoxide.
Engine 110 crews set up ladders to access the chimney, and removed the cap to take a look inside. Upon inspection from both ends, we found very heavy build up of creosote and other debris, and immediately went to work with ourchains and chimney kit to remove them. Although some of the material was burning embers, no pockets of fire were found in the chimney.
The pictures show why it is very important to have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected annually. Heavy build up of debris can ignite and cause chimney fires. If you notice unusual color or type of smoke, cracking or noises in your walls, or see embers coming from your chimney, always call the fire department. It is always best to avoid burning anything other than wood in a fireplace, and even better to burn non-resinous hardwoods (avoid evergreens like pine, fir, hemlock, spruce) to prevent material deposits inside the stack.
Crews completed the cleaning of the chimney and went back in service in under an hour.