Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Chief warns about creosote

CALEB NICKERSON
SHAWVILLE March 27, 2020
The Shawville Clarendon Fire Chief is warning residents with wood stoves to check their pipes for creosote build up after the department responded to a call on Friday morning.
At about 9:30 a.m. on March 27, three trucks and 15 firefighters from the department responded to a call on the Fourth Line in Clarendon where a fire had broken out in the residence’s stove pipes due to a build up of creosote. Fire Chief Lee Laframboise said that in the fire was put out in a matter of minutes and added that he is worried about keeping his team healthy during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“I pretty much have to send three trucks,” he said. “It’s in the country, so one to pump, one with water and one with tools. I also don’t want to crowd the trucks with firemen right now.”
“It’s kind of hard,” he said about keeping distance among emergency workers. “You don’t want to send anyone home because you need them, but on the other hand … it’s a little scary. You don’t have a choice.”
The department held a meeting after the call, with firefighters spread out across the fire hall’s parking lot.
Laframboise said that residents with wood stoves should be diligent about checking their pipes and chimneys over the winter for creosote build up. The substance is a combustion by-product that can accumulate in chimneys, which chokes airflow and can even ignite if it isn’t periodically removed.
“You should be definitely checking them two or three times over the winter but you can also tell … if you have a fire on and you open the door and any smoke comes out the door, it means it’s started to get restricted on the exhaust side,” he said.
Laframboise added that these types of calls are entirely preventable and urged residents to be more careful with their wood stoves.
“[We get] too many for no reason, if people did their due diligence on burning wood, we’d have a lot less calls,” he said.

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