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Posted on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

Creosote ignites chimney fire in Sylvan Township

By Kody Klein

A chimney fire started from a buildup of excess creosote at 6:15 a.m. Friday, at 19511 Cavanaugh Lake Road.

Chief James Payeur of Chelsea Area Fire Authority said the fire was contained within the chimney stack and it didn't spread to the rest of the house.

There were no injuries or property damage.

Several chimney fires have occurred in the past month, including one in Dexter Township and one in Ann Arbor. There also have been several fires that spread from wood burning stoves in Superior Township and Sylvan Township.

Payeur said homeowners with chimneys must take caution to avoid fires like this and advised they research the type of wood they're burning.

"Know what kind of wood you’re burning, because some wood produces higher amounts of creosote when it burns," he said.

Lt. Scott Basar said people also should make sure the wood they burn has been properly dried, because dry wood doesn't have as much of the buildup, which is what starts the fires.

"It’s best to let the wood dry usually for a year, so it’s completely dried out," Basar said.

Payeur also suggested increasing the amount of times per year homeowners get their chimney professionally cleaned. He said this is especially important for people who frequently close the damper on their chimneys to choke the fire, as this reduces the effectiveness of the chimney and increases the amount of creosote because it cools it faster as it’s going up.

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Kody Klein is an intern for Reach him at



Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

It's very important to get your chimney swept! These days chimney sweeps can lower a video camera and light down the chimney for better quality inspection.