Reminder: 'Get your chimneys cleaned'

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 12/5/18

Flames broke out Monday afternoon (Dec. 4) on …

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Reminder: 'Get your chimneys cleaned'

Posted

A small fire can be a neighborhood reminder for everyone to keep their chimneys clean as temperatures drop for the season.

Flames broke out Monday afternoon (Dec. 4) on Bent Street at Robert Parsons' Fine Art gallery, triggering a quick response from the Taos Fire Department. The fire was small and contained only to the chimney, but fire officials are saying it is a reminder for everyone to take precautions before lighting their fireplaces.

"There was just smoke coming out of the chimney," said acting fire chief Eddie Joe Abeyta. "It happens (in Taos) every year. It's just totally accidental."

Abeyta said chimney fires are often the result of creosote buildup in the chimney and occur when heat rises through up and ignites the material. These fires could also be caused by a leftover bird's nest or other overlooked debris that a chimney sweep would be able to clear for a safe fire.

"Get your chimneys cleaned," said owner Robert Parsons.

Damage was minimal, and Abeyta said it was completely contained within the chimney. Artwork in the building was unharmed as was the building itself, according to Parsons.

Well into the winter months, Abeyta said chimney fires are 100 percent preventable and is encouraging everyone to make sure their chimneys are cleaned and inspected. Also, when storing ashes, Abeyta said to place the ashes in a metal container outside and away from the house and cover it with a lid.

"Those ashes will burn three or four days in the fireplace after the fire has burned out," Abeyta said.

According to Abeyta, the fire was the third call for a chimney fire in Taos for December.

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