Chimney fire draws 3 departments

Several local volunteer fire departments responded to a report of a chimney fire in Irvine on Tuesday afternoon.

The fire was not serious, but the Youngsville, Starbrick, and Pleasant departments were called because many firefighters could not quickly respond.

“It was hard to get personnel due to (deer) hunting,” Youngsville Chief Ken Roberts said. Roberts said he hiked about 20 minutes out of the woods before he could drive to the scene.

The pipe off of the wood-burning stove at the 1116 National Forge Road house was glowing hot, when owner Kevin Childs returned.

“I was out hunting and something told me to come home,” Childs said. “Thank God.”

“My wife was sleeping,” he said. “This was a close call.” The smoke detector had not gone off by the time he got home. He said the stove pipe was not as hot as it eventually became.

“That stainless steel liner is absolutely cherry red,” Roberts said. “I’ve not seen a stove that hot in a long time.”

Firefighters cleared insulation material from around the pipe to see if the heat had started any fires. They also had to cut away small sections of the wall near the pipe “just to make sure,” Roberts said.

The house was spared both fire and water damage. Firefighters set up a portable pond outside and had a live hose inside, but did not need to use it.

“Because of the extreme heat of the fire we had a hand line inside as a precaution,” Roberts said.

A firefighter on the roof dropped “chimney bombs” – packets of dry chemical extinguisher – down the chimney. That chemical “suffocates the fire,” Roberts said.

Garland volunteer firefighters worked refilling trucks at the hydrant near the Rouse Home.