House fire blamed on malfunctioning chimney flue

Published: Friday, January 24, 2014 at 12:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 24, 2014 at 12:13 p.m.

A malfunctioning chimney flue caused a fire early Friday at a northwest Gainesville house, firefighters say.

Gainesville Fire Rescue received a call around 4:30 a.m. Friday about a large fire coming from a house in the 1900 block of Northeast 14th Avenue, GFR Deputy Fire Chief Jeffrey Lane said.

When authorities arrived, they found heavy fire and smoke coming from the house’s wooden chimney, Lane said. Gainesville Police Department officers awoke the residents and removed them from the house.

After 10 minutes, officials contained the fire to the chimney. Lane said the blaze didn’t cause further damage to the house.

Several hours after the fire, investigators found that a malfunctioning flue pipe, which pushes carbon monoxide from a gas furnace or water heater outside, started the blaze.

January is the peak period for heating-related house fires, Lane said. Space heaters and poorly maintained chimneys can be unsafe.

GFR recommends residents have their fireplaces inspected and cleaned annually to prevent fires.

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