Maintenance is key to preventing a chimney fire

Fire in Gill started in the chimney

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The State Fire Marshal said last week’s fire that damaged a home and injured a firefighter in Gill, started in the chimney. Investigators blame a lack of maintenance.

People use their fireplaces during the holiday season, and that keeps fire departments busy, but a few precautions can keep your family safe. Fire officials suggest getting your chimney professionally cleaned once a year.

They urge you to burn seasoned wood, and put ashes properly in a covered metal can outside. The Easthampton Fire Department has seen a few minor chimney fires this season.

Easthampton Fire Capt. Kevin Benson told 22News, “Just always be vigilant when you have a fire going in your home and in your chimney. Make sure its clean make sure you’re using good wood and if something goes wrong make sure you call 911 so we can help you.”

If you think you have a chimney fire, call firefighters right away, don’t try to put it out yourself. Firefighters have special equipment specific to chimney fires. There were 883 fires involving chimneys, fireplaces, and wood stoves in Massachusetts last year.

The Department of Fire Services has these and other winter heating safety tips as part of their Keep Warm, Keep Safe campaign at www.mass.gov/keepwarmkeepsafe.

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