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Posted on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 1 p.m.

Fire spreads from chimney at Dexter Township home

By Kody Klein

A fire that started in a chimney caused minor damage to a home on North Lake in Dexter Township Sunday night.

The Dexter Area Fire Department responded to a small fire at 10:30 p.m. on Webbs Landing.

Firefighters said the fire spread from the chimney and caused minor property damage and no significant injuries.

The fire is one of several that have spread from chimneys or stoves in the past couple of weeks, causing damage.

Last Sunday, Ann Arbor firefighters extinguished a fire in a wall above a fireplace. The fire appeared to be caused by the fireplace or firebox, they said. Wood-burning stoves have been blamed for fires in Superior Township and Chelsea recently.

Lt. Michael Grissom said residents with chimneys should make sure they have triple wall flues. He said it was also very important to clean the chimneys at least once a year.

"The best thing to do is that if you're going to have it cleaned, have a reputable company come out to do it," he said.

Grissom said that it's easy for an uninformed person to twist the flue, which could allow a fire to spread from the chimney. He added that hiring a professional company to clean the chimney will mitigate personal liability issues if an insurance claim is filed later.

In addition to this advice, Grissom advised against burning "green wood."

"It needs to sit for about a year to dry," he said.

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Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

I've been heating my house with wood for 25 yrs. There is nothing to compare to wood heat. Burning wood that is less than 18 months seasoned is a good way to burn your house down. I burn oak or ash hardwood. If your a serious wood burner you have a 4-5 year supply that you keep rotating so the wood you burn is always seasoned at least a couple of years,and its preferably under a roof or shed of some kind to keep it dry and away from your house. I run a brush down my chimney flue once a week and clean the pipe from the wood burner to the chimney once a month. Masonary chimneys are the best followed by insulated metalbestes. Using aftermarket products to keep your chimney free of creasote is not good. If your a serious wood burner you have all the tools and ladders to clean your chimney as needed.


Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 7 p.m.

Also people need to steer clear of products that claim to clean the creosote off of chimney surfaces - they don't. This is no place to try and take short cuts. I think that the unusual cold temperatures have people trying to avoid the huge energy bills that are inevitable with the cold. I have read that six months of drying times is the minimum. The problem is, everybody and their brother is selling wood now and unless you test it you have no idea how long it has been cut.