Get the Facts on Chimney Fires

The Murrieta Fire Department gives residents the 411 on chimney fires.

The following is a press release from the Murrieta Fire Department:

The Murrieta Fire Department recently responded to a chimney fire in a home near Historic Downtown Murrieta; ‘tis the season for chimney fires.  This fire displaced 11 Murrieta residents right before the Thanksgiving Holiday. 

Did you know that chimney fires are responsible for upwards of 26,000 residential fires per year, resulting in greater than $128,000,000 in annual property damage nationwide?

Indications of a chimney fire have been described as creating:

  • loud cracking and popping noise
  • a lot of dense smoke
  • an intense, hot smell

Chimney fires can burn explosively, or they can smolder for days charring the internal rafters above your ceiling and below the roofline. - With proper chimney system care, chimney fires are entirely preventable.

As the homes with fire places in our community age, the potential for a chimney fire increases. Why?

1.  Chimneys are in abundance in-and-around our valley

2.  There is no consistency in the quality of firewood being burned in fireplaces

(Please do not burn Christmas wrapping “debris” in your fire place)

3.  Is routine cleaning and maintenance of the fireplace and flue occurring? - doubtful

4.  Some residents actually burn wood in “gas only” fire places

Chimney Fires can be prevented.  Don't burn cardboard boxes or wrapping paper in your fireplace. It's too easy for a flaming piece of paper to waft up the chimney and catch things on fire.

But most importantly, have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually. Nothing can completely prevent the creation of creosote (a combustible product of burning that builds up in the chimney).  However, a certified chimney sweep can keep the problem from getting out of hand.


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