The homeowner reported the fire in the single-story house in the 7600 block of 242nd Street Southwest at 9:45 p.m. “She couldn’t see flames, but could hear a crackling noise inside a wall adjacent to the chimney. She called 9-1-1 and safely exited her home with her cat,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1, which provides fire and emergency medical services in the City of Edmonds.
When firefighters arrived, the fire had burned through the wall and flames were visible inside the home. Firefighters from Fire District 1 and the Shoreline Fire Department responded. They had the fire under control within about 10 minutes. No one was injured.
The fire was contained to a wall and a small area of the crawl space adjacent to the chimney. Prior to the fire, the homeowner had been using a wood stove connected to the chimney. A fire investigator determined that cracks in the chimney bricks allowed the fire to spread into the wall space.
The fire damage left the house uninhabitable. The homeowner has insurance and plans to stay with a family member who lives in the area.
Fire District 1 offers these safety tips to prevent chimney fires:
· Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
· Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.
· Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
· Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
· Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
· Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings. Never empty the ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate the ashes with water.