This time of year we get calls for service from alarmed customers who have had a chimney fire.
The by products of burning solid fuel, wood or pressed logs, is soot and creosote. Soot and creosote accumulate in the flue with use of fireplace. Soot and creosote are highly flammable.
A chimney fire happens when the buildup of soot/creosote in the flue catches on fire. When a great deal of heat is introduced into unit, the buildup will ignite. People burn Christmas trees or wrapping paper and these produce large flames with high heat. This will ignite the soot/creosote in the flue and fire will spread up the entire flue and can belch flames out the top of the chimney. It becomes a giant torch and can produce a huge roar.
Temperatures in flue will go from range from normal of 300-500 F degrees to over 1700 F. Chimney fires can create a lot of damage, and sometimes one will get damage from the fire department’s efforts to extinguish the fire. So, one must always be cautious about having too big or too hot a fire and one should get chimneys cleaned and inspected regularly and especially after a chimney fire.