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Monday, October 21, 2019

Fire and Police



Some days do not go as expected. My lovely wife and I had a nice breakfast planned. My oldest daughter, my son-in-law and two grandkids were staying with us. It was a 20 degree morning and the woodstove was putting out some heat. Then it was putting out too much heat.

Creosote buildup in the stovepipe ignited. It became cherry red all of a sudden. I woke up the household and told them to get out. Then I called 911 to report a chimney fire to the local volunteer fire department.

I was able to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. It had been contained to the stovepipe and the chimney was fine. The firefighters inspected my chimney and it was clear from top to bottom. All the creosote had been confined to the stovepipe. When it came right down to it, I’d successfully put the fire out before the firefighters got here, but I’m glad they checked everything out for me. You never assume you got it all.

With the stove and the house cold, we all went out to a local restaurant for their Sunday brunch. My lovely wife asked if I was going to change the stovepipe and I was happy to oblige. I left brunch a bit early to find new stovepipe before the local hardware stores closed at noon.

While changing out the stovepipe, my neighbor came over. She’d had a restraining order on her husband -which he violated. Now he’s in jail. They’ve been married for a little over a year. She was shocked to learn he had a felony conviction. The police were impressed with his firearm collection, especially his sawed off shotgun. My guess is that those violations alone will keep him out of circulation for a bit.

It was an emotionally trying day. It does feel good right now to have my feet up, the woodstove running well, and a good cup of coffee.

-Sixbears

14 comments:

  1. They make those 'anti-creosote' products. Mayhaps you need to get some and use them on the schedule, or maybe even quicker than the schedule requires.

    Chimney fires are definitely an un-fun thing. Glad you pulled through it and had all the right stuff to deal with a fire. You are better prepared than about 95% of people with fireplaces and wood stoves.

    As to neighbor, well, that sucks. Wacky felon with most likely an illegal short barreled shotgun is definitely a legal no-no. And hiding secrets already in a marriage? Not a great way to keep together.

    Hopefully your next neighbors will be better.

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    1. I usually periodically remove the stovepipe to clean it, but with all the prep for our trip it got put aside. My bad.

      I think the neighbor might still be there in the spring. She told me everything is in her name anyway.

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  2. I used to know an old brick and block mason who lived in a cement block house that he'd built himself. When his chimney caught fire once, a neighbor asked if he shouldn't call the fire department. He replied that he'd built it and knew what it would stand "so let 'er rip!"

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    1. I hope he used ceramic tiles. Normal liners and chimneys can take 1200 degrees heat. Chimney fires often reach over 1400.

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    2. He used fire brick (maybe a double layer) with thin high temp mortar joints inside of a cement block chimney.

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    3. That's what it'd take. I wouldn't worry too much about a chimney fire either.

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  3. At least you knew what to do! Many folks now days wouldn't have the knowledge to act accordingly. Glad you got it handled properly.

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    1. The most important thing was getting everyone out of the house. The rest is just stuff.

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  4. That's all a bit exciting. These bombshells seem to come in clusters. I had a 2 day SNAFU like that last week. All sorted and we move on. It's good being flexible enough to adapt and I'm sure your professional experience helped too.
    Your antidote seems just fine. I might just do the same (after I cook dinner for my dearest).

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    Replies
    1. It seems there's always a snafu just before we hit the road.

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  5. Scary stuff man.
    Glad everything is good.

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  6. Speaking from my own experience, a chimney fire will get your heart racing like nothing else! :-) Glad all is well.

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