On Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 2:27 pm, the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched as automatic Mutual Aid (part of a multi-company response) for the Betterton Volunteer Fire Company to the Chimney Fire in the 24200 block of Kinnairds Point Drive. This development is at the end of Coopers Lane, near the Kent County High School.
First arriving units found a one-story, single family dwelling with fire contained in the chimney flue. As is sometimes, the case, there was no extension to the structural components of the house. These fires result from a build-up of creosote on the walls of the flue. Personnel worked to control the fire. They subsequently “dragged” the chimney with equipment expressly designed for that purpose. Dragging knocks loose the built-up creosote where it falls to the bottom where it can be removed. Using a “TIC” (Thermal Imaging Camera) crews again verified there was no extension of fire into the house structural components surrounding the chimney. As a precaution, one 1-3/4” hose line was stretched and readied in case fire was found to have breached the chimney. It was not needed.
Units worked this incident for about an hour. There were no injuries to civilians or emergency personnel.
We would like to remind homeowners… If you’re burning fuel such as wood in a fireplace or wood stove, the chimney(s) need regular cleaning. At minimum, they should be cleaned and inspected by a qualified chimney sweep prior to the start of the heating season. Should there be a chimney fire such as this, the flue needs to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected by a qualified chimney sweep before continued use. The flue may have sustained hidden damage that increases the likelihood another chimney fire may extend into the house structural components. This could lead to a very serious fire with devastating personal loss. Even with a recommended cleaning cycle in place, chimney fires can still occur.
Photographs by the Chestertown VFC.
Media may use photographs with proper attribution.