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St. Charles Fire Department raising chimney fire awareness

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – St. Charles firefighters have responded to two house fires in the past week, one caused by a wood burning stove and the other a fireplace.

On December 28, St. Charles fire crews responded to a house fire, which started from a wood burning stove. Capt. Kelly Hunsel said they think the stove malfunctioned and caused other things in the room close to the stove to catch fire.

Just a few days later, on January 2, firefighter responded to another house fire. This one in the attic of the home. Investigators said it was sparked by the fireplace.

Hunsel said anytime you have an open flame, you have a potential for a fire. But she said there were some things you could do to protect your home. She said use seasoned wood that is nice and dry and make sure that your flue is cleaned and inspected annually by a chimney sweep.

Hunsel said the ash from fires can stay hot for days. So don’t dispose of it in a plastic container near the side of the house or in the garage. The safest place for ashes are in a metal container away from the home.