Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

March 13, 2014


Cooperstown Crier

---- — Chimney fire changes everything

We had a chimney fire. Our woodstove got burning too hot and the creosote in the stovepipe began to burn. Outside it was glowing and burning red at the top of the chimney. 

I immediately got everyone out of the house, called 911 and reported the chimney fire. They called the Springfield Fire Department and there were several trucks and loads of firemen on site within 15 minutes.

By the time they arrived the creosote had burned itself out and there really was no issue, but there could have been, and I want to do two things.

1) I want to warn you, that if you burn a woodstove this could happen to you too. We clean our chimney out each fall, and yet by this time of year we have once again accumulated a fair amount of creosote in the chimney. By accidentally allowing the fire to get too hot, that creosote began to burn. We were lucky, I recognized the problem, shut down the wood fire and the conditions did not allow for any fire or flame to ignite any structure. One of the squad members indicated it is actually suggested you clean out creosote once a month.

2) I want to extend a huge thank you to the Springfield Fire Department Squad. They were caring, concerned, professional, and thorough. Even though no fire remained by the time they arrived they climbed up on the roof, inspected the chimney for any flame, removed existing creosote, inspected the woodstove and chimney inside the house, and used a camera to insure there was no fire burning inside the walls. They got up and out of bed at 11 p.m. to help their neighbors. Thank you! Each of you deserves far more than the pat on the back and the hand shake you got last night. What I can offer you is my sincere gratitude for a job well done, and an additional donation to the Fire Department. Our thanks for all you do to keep our community safe, secure and alive. I have witnessed your response to a neighbor in health distress, I have witnessed your response to a neighbor in trouble on the water, and now I have witnessed your response to my own problem - a fire - there is nothing more scary than watching the prospect of your home going up in flames. I am glad you were there for us.

Our sincerest thanks to each of you and may you continue to perform the fine work that you do.

Barb and Bill Harman


P.S. We will be making extra donation to the Springfield Fire Department. You don’t think about emergency services until you need them; but when you need them, you want them there doing the excellent work that they do. And we will be cleaning out our chimney more often. We hope you will too.