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Castlegar Fire Department responds to chimney fire

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Castlegar firefighters responded to a chimney fire in the Kinnaird area last Thursday afternoon.

Sam Lattanzio, deputy fire chief for the Castlegar Fire Department, believes the fire was caused by a build-up of creosote.

“The neighbours saw some flame and smoke coming out of the top, so that’s probably what it was,” he said. “It was relatively minor.”

Lattanzio said that by the time the fire department arrived, the homeowner and neighbour had the fire mostly out.

“Because guess what they had in their house? A fire extinguisher,” he said. “So they made our job much easier.”

Firefighters ensured that the fire didn’t extend beyond the chimney and that it was actually out.

“We use our thermal-imaging camera to check to make sure that it didn’t go through the walls or into the attic or anything like that,” explained Lattanzio.

To avoid creosote buildup and the possibility of a chimney fire, the deputy fire chief said people need to clean their chimneys in accordance with how often they use them.

“You need to maintain your chimneys by cleaning them and … depending on how much wood you burn in a heating season,” he said. “This was … a long cold winter and if you are using it a lot, it may require more frequent cleaning. Once a year may not be enough. It might need a couple times or three times a year depending on how much you use it.”

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