A dirty chimney can lead to house fires

A dirty chimney can lead to house fires.

Fire can be a life-saving warmth or possibly untamable.

"In the last 24 hours, we responded to two home fires that have had chimney fires," Springfield Fire Marshal Chris Richmond said.

However, there is one way to help prevent a fire from catching and burning uncontrollably.

"He hadn't had anyone clean it for eight years," employee of Klein’s Chimney Service Blaine Kneller said.

This prevention technique may not be what you think at first.

"So it had been eight years since this chimney had been swept," Kneller said. “I thought I'd call you guys it's probably about time.” It took three hours to do the thing," Kneller said.

Cleaning a chimney may seem tedious but it is important.

Anything past one-eighth of an inch of collected debris is enough for a fire to spread.

Every time a fire is lit, more ash and debris collects in the chimney and the flue, making a fire more likely to start.

"Just go on YouTube and look up house fires that resulted from chimney fires. Because you can lose your home and worse, somebody could lose their life," Owner of Klein’s Chimney Service Rodney Kneller said.

As the bone-chilling temperature continues across Illinois, it may be tempting to light a fire for warmth, but if the correct precautions are not taken, it may be one of the last fires ever lit in the house.

"The soot that is released when the fire is burned. It will build up in the chimney so it sticks to the walls of the flue and it's likely it will catch on fire," Rodney Kneller said.

Chimney sweeps can happen at any time during the year, including summer. It is timely to do it before it gets too cold, in order to make sure a fireplace and chimney is ready for fires.

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