How to prevent chimney fires in your home

Chimney fires destroyed more than 100 homes in the U.S. last year.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP)- Chimney fires destroyed more than 100 homes in the U.S. last year.

A chimney fire is blamed for the fire that destroyed a home in Montgomery Tuesday night. Montgomery’s Fire Chief collapsed and died putting out that fire. Chimney fires are preventable. Chimneys require maintenance.

In Southampton, a woman hired New England Chimney Sweeps to put in a stainless steal liner to improve air flow inside the chimney.

“We burn wood, we have an insert for safety. We have to have a liner going up the center of the chimney,” said Barb Strycharz of Southampton. “Its suppposed to be better efficient burning as well.”

Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned every year, especially if you burn wood for heat. Chimney fires were blamed for one of every three fires linked to heating systems in 2016 and were responsible for more than 2 million dollars in property damage.

Bruce Faria, President, New England Chimney Sweeps & Masonry said, “A lot of people say its brick, its mortar, what can happen. The problem is its not made to withstand a lot of heat, the heat cracks the tiles, it cracks the brick and then it gets into the structure of the house.”

Faria told 22News they’ve had to clean chimneys that weren’t properly inspected. He said there are many chimney sweeps in Massachusetts that are not certified.

Click here for a list of all certified chimney sweeps in western Massachusetts.