Chimney fire burned Rachael Ray’s home

A home belonging to celebrity cook Rachael Ray was reportedly on fire in upstate New York. Images showed the flames shooting through the roof of the home.

Fire crews were battling flames at the home in Lake Luzerne, N.Y., as the Warren County Sheriff’s Office told ABC10 the residence belonged to the television personality.

Two weeks after a devastating fire nearly gutted Rachael Ray’s home, officials finally have released a cause. The Aug. 9 blaze at her manse began inside a fireplace chimney, state officials revealed on Friday.

Rachel Ray Home Chimney Fire

Upgraded Fireplace with Glass Doors

We recently upgraded this fireplace with new glass doors. See below before and after photos.

Fireplace before

BEFORE

Fireplace After

AFTER

Rampart General cracked fireplaces

Pictures of Rampart General cracked fireplaces which are beyond repair and need to be torn down.

Rampart General fireplaces

New Chimney Cap in Orange County

Here is a chimney cap job we did recently. You can see the before, during the work and after photos below.

Before, during and after chimney cap replacement

Video of chimney which needs major repairs

This as an example of our video inspections.  We make sure that the homeowner can see it is their property and they can see the issues.  This is an example of a chimney which was allowed to deteriorate and which has substantial cracking both inside and out.  It can be repaired but the repairs are significant.

 

Chimney cracks inside chimney

Due to the recent earthquakes in Southern California there have been reports of chimney damage. Some of which you might not be aware of. Here is a video of cracks inside a chimney. If you think you might have damage, get your chimney inspected now before winter comes and you can’t use it when you really need to!

 

Why you should only used a licensed and insured chimney sweep

csiaMany chimney sweeps are not licensed, bonded or insured.  Sometimes companies hire “subcontractors” who also have no insurance or licenses.  It is not illegal for someone not to have a license if the work they do is under $500, however, there is a danger in having someone climb up on your roof with no insurance.  The danger is that if they fall and get hurt, they can sue you.

Today, a customer told me that he had a friend who had a chimney sweep fall from his roof and die. This was 15 years ago.  The homeowner was sued.

So before you let anyone climb on your roof, check if they have insurance.

Your chimney and earthquakes

Cracked fireplace earthquake damageToday parts of the San Gabriel Valley, the Inland Empire and Orange County felt a significant earthquake (7.1).  If you have an older masonry chimney and you felt a significant movement of your property, it is usually recommended that you do not use your fireplace until it is inspected with a video camera to make sure there are no hazardous cracks.

If the cracks are small, the cost to fix them is very reasonable.  If they are allowed to get larger with additional earthquakes, or rain coming into your chimney, or if you burn a lot of fires, you could have a house fire, or the chimney could deteriorate to a point where major repairs are needed. Read more

Masonry chimneys and fires

The pictures show the inside of a chimney which has cracks and also the outside and top with a cracked crown.

masonery chimney crown crackedSigns you have had a chimney fire:

You may have had a dangerous fire in your chimney which has compromised the structure of your chimney, and not even know it.  It is estimated that every year there are over 10,000 house fires caused by fires in a fireplace.  In the last two weeks, we have spoken to realtors in Orange County who reported they knew of homes that burnt down or were severely damaged due to undetected problems in their chimneys. Read more

Is your fireplace a fire hazard?

Rampart General FireplaceThis is the first in a series of articles to warn consumers about possible fire hazards in their homes.

Rampart fireplace crackIf your chimney looks similar to the one pictured, it is probably a Rampart General pre-cast cement fireplace.  These were manufactured in Santa Ana from the early 1960’s to the mid 1990’s.  There are whole communities of them in surrounding areas in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.  Unfortunately, due to the way they were manufactured, there are often hazardous cracks in the firebox and/or chimney which can result in a house fire if they are used.   Read more