Vt. Fire Chief: Chimney Fires on the Rise Because of Warmer Weather

A Vermont fire chief says there’s been an increase in chimney fires because of the warmer weather.

Townshend Fire Chief Doug Winot says two fires over the weekend were apparently caused by clogged chimneys.

He tells the Brattleboro Reformer that a flammable “oily sludge” or “black glaze” is building up in chimneys when people burn green, not dried firewood or have a fire that’s not hot enough.

Winot says because of the warmer temperatures this winter, more people are shutting down their wood stoves and the sludge can catch on fire. When that happens, it closes the chimney off and starts spreading into a partition wall.

He says to prevent such fires, people should have their chimneys cleaned every two to three months.