No one was hurt, but several people were displaced just before Christmas after a fire destroyed a pair of condo units at Englewood’s Cross Creek Pointe. An expensive lesson was learned, as well.
PHOTOS FOR CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM BY BRETT M DZADIK
A fireman at the scene said it took nearly two hours to control the blaze, which he said officials told him began in the chimney of an eight-unit building in the development. Before long, a raging fire had left families of eight units out in the cold, he said.
“Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary,” the The National Fire Protection Association says.
The problem: Even if you hardly use your chimney at all, animals may build nests in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use. Then once you do decide to light a fire — boom!
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces be clearned at 1/4″ of sooty buildup, and sooner if there is any glaze present in the system.
Factory-built fireplaces should be cleaned when any appreciable buildup occurs. This is considered to be enough fuel buildup to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging the chimney or spreading to the home.
Sure you have a lot of other things on you mind, particularly this time of year. But if you’re going to use the chimney you have, you owe it to the safety or your family and neighbors that it operate appropriately. One oversight and you’re trying to salvage charred memories while filling out paperwork for a place to stay with the American Red Cross.
Mutual aid: Fort Lee, Leonia, Tenafly, Teaneck and Bergenfield.
PHOTOS FOR CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM BY BRETT M DZADIK.
(REMEMBER: CLIFFVIEWPILOT IS ALWAYS SEEKING PHOTOS OF VARIOUS EVENTS. IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU THINK IS WORTH PUBLISHING RIGHT AWAY, CONTACT GERARD J. DeMARCO (201.943.2794).
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