Local fire departments say have your chimneys inspected

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SULLIVAN CO., (WJHL)- In less than 48 hours several families were displaced in Sullivan County this weekend after house fires involving chimneys.

Now several fire departments are saying before using your fireplace, make sure you have it inspected.

The Sullivan County Volunteer Fire Department responded to three incidents involving defective or dirty chimneys within 30 hours of each other.

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As the cooler weather approaches more people are starting to use their fireplaces.

Now, both the Sullivan County Volunteer Fire Department and the Kingsport Fire Department are urging people to have their chimneys inspected to prevent these types of fires.

“Anytime when it gets cold we always see fires that come about from heating. The Kingsport Fire Department would like to remind everyone, if they’re using a fireplace or anything like a wood burning stove, have your chimney inspected by a professional. What can happen is creosote can build up inside of that, and that’s just a byproduct of the wood, and it will build up inside of the chimney and it could actually catch on fire. Parts of that smoke is actually un-burnt fuel. So when you have that un-burnt fuel that’s when you get the creosote inside it building up. So as it climbs up through the chimney, it cools off and it sticks to the inside, it can actually close it off and keep your fire from burning efficiently,” said Barry Brickey, Kingsport Fire Department’s Public Education Officer.

Mark Boshears has lived in his home for twenty years and has a gas fire place, but his previous home had a wood burning fire place.

“Where we use to live we had a wood burning fire place, but it’s more work. You have to light the fire, stay with it, get it started, where with this you can just turn it on and off. The wood fire, I mean it will pop and crack and the ashes come out and that sort of thing. Whereas you don’t have that situation with this. You can turn them on and off whenever you want to use them. It does provide- the gas heat is very fast, very quick, very efficient,” said Boshears.

Fire officials say you not only need to have the fireplace inspected, but also have it cleaned annually.

“Anytime your using alternate heat, weather that’s a wood burning fire place, a wood burning stove, or gas logs or anything, you need to make sure they’re all in good working order,” said Brickey.

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