I'm sitting here with my tea this morning and trying to decide what to post... I've been trying to write at least part of my posts the evening before so I can read them over fresh in the morning and fix all the mistakes... Lets face it, a great writer I am not but I do love to write. Anyway... Sometimes the day gets away on me and I just don't have time, but as I listen to the sounds of the house waking up around me and the fire crackling I am reminded of the first winter and our very first chimney fire.
Chimney fires, to me, are crazy scary and since this one was the first on in our new house you can only imagine the horror I felt. We had gotten up fairly late that morning and I was rushing around trying to get ready as we were going to town. Of course I was all dressed up for town, make up on, hair done, I was even wearing slacks in stead of my usual jeans! I don't have much of a reason to dress up at home so figured why not? I wanted to look nice. I had a few appointments that day and couldn't be late, hence the rush. (Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate to be late)
I had added wood to the stove that morning and turned it up a bit to warm up the house as it had been a very cold night. Just before we were ready to leave we turned the dampers down so the fire would die down and we could go to town. I was just putting on my jacket when I heard a very strange sound, kinda like a freight train. I asked Mountain Man if he heard it and his eyes got pretty wide as we both said together, "chimney fire!!". Yep, there we were all dressed up to go to town and obviously going nowhere. But what to do?
The wood-stove we have is quite well built and supposed to be airtight so the first thing we did was close the dampers all the way so no air could get in. It did make a bit of a difference as the noise died down a bit but did not go away. Now what? Neither one of us had ever dealt with this before. Thankfully Mountain Man is very safety conscience and it wasn't long before he knew exactly what to do. He grabbed one of the fire extinguishers. Put a ladder up to the roof and climbed up to the chimney. He then pulled off the chimney cap using very heavy gloves and sprayed short bursts of the dry chemical down the chimney. It worked! The chimney fire died out in no time but our racing hearts took much longer to settle down.
Lesson learned! We now have a schedule on when we clean the chimney (once a month) and usually we make sure to check it every week. Lesson two? Make sure your wood is dry! If you use wet wood you will build creosote faster. Our new woodshed will help a lot with this one.
Well, we are off to town this morning so must run... and yes our chimney is clean!
Wisdom from Mountain Man:
Moral of this story? Learn from others mistakes to avoid that panic stricken feeling in your heart.