CREOSOTE BUILDUP BLAMED FOR N. CONWAY CHIMNEY FIRE

by Christian Mower on January 18, 2012

THE NORTH CONWAY FIRE CHIEF SAYS HE HAS CONDEMNED A CHIMNEY AT A RENTED HOUSE IN NORTH CONWAY AFTER A CHIMNEY FIRE THERE WEDNESDAY MORNING.

PAT PREECE SAYS HE GOT TO THE SINGLE FAMILY HOME AT 188 ARTIST FALLS ROAD JUST TWO MINUTES AFTER THE CALL CAME IN, SHORTLY AFTER 8:30 A.M.

PREECE SAYS EVERYONE DID THE RIGHT THING AND CALLED THE FIRE DEPARTMENT AS SOON AS THEY REALIZED SOMETHING WAS WRONG.

TWO OCCUPANTS AND THE LANDLORD WERE NOT INJURED.

PREECE SAYS HE HAD NEARLY A DOZEN FIREFIGHTERS AT THE SCENE. NORTH CONWAY AMBULANCE AND CONWAY FIRE DEPARTMENT ASSISTED.

ON ARRIVAL, THE CHIEF SAYS THERE WAS HEAVY BLACK SMOKE COMING FROM THE CHIMNEY AND SMOKE INSIDE A WALL PUSHING OUT FROM BEHIND A BRICK VENEER.

FIREFIGHTERS FOUND THE CHIMNEY WAS COMPLETELY PLUGGED UP WITH CREOSOTE – THEY USED A SORT OF RAMMING DEVICE CALLED A TORPEDO TO BREAK UP THE BLOCKAGE, FINDING THE FIRE EXTENDED ABOUT 20 FEET DOWN.

PREECE SAYS CREOSOTE CAN BUILD UP VERY QUICKLY IF THE WOOD BEING BURNED IS NOT SEASONED AND IS BURNED WHILE IT’S GREEN BECAUSE IT’S WET.

FIREFIGHTERS REMOVED PART OF A WALL TO ENSURE THE FIRE WAS OUT AND THE WOOD FROM THE BASEMENT FURNACE WAS TAKEN OUT.

THE HOUSE WAS VENTILATED.

PREECE SAYS THE HOUSE SUSTAINED SOME SMOKE DAMAGE. THE CHIMNEY WILL HAVE TO UNDERGO A COMPLETE INSPECTION TO DETERMINE WHAT REPAIRS ARE NECESSARY.

FIREFIGHTERS CLEARED THE SCENE SHORTLY BEFORE 9:45 A.M.