Posted at: 10/21/2013 6:21 PM
By: Katie Eldred
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A house fire Sunday morning in Rochester is an example of why you should have your chimney checked. That fire left one family homeless.
The Rochester Fire Department says these types of fires can be especially destructive and dangerous.
It's the time of year again when you can find chimney sweeps Dan Williams climbing from roof top to roof top.
"I'm very busy," said Williams.
Williams knows just how ashy the situation can get when people ignore the necessary chimney upkeep.
"The deposits are very flammable and so they can have a flue fire which can damage the chimney and eventually start the house on fire," said Williams.
That's exactly what a Rochester family woke up to early Sunday morning.
"As the cold weather approaches chimney fires become a seasonal concern for us," said Deputy Fire Chief Belau.
Rochester Deputy Fire Chief Steve Belau says the family at the Rochester home had left their fire place smoldering and woke up to find their house nearly fully engulfed. He says because of the way chimney fires spread they are especially concerning.
"Ordinarily we expect the smoke to come out the chimney, but when there's a fire it goes into parts of the house like the attic and the walls so it's not necessarily detected." said Belau.
Williams says often times people forget about their chimneys.
"it's out of sight out of mind," said Williams.
But he knows how easy these fires are to prevent.
"There's all kinds of factors, the biggest thing is to have it inspected make sure that it's in good shape and not going to start on fire," said Williams.
No one was hurt in Sunday's fire.
On average there are more than 24,000 residential fires in the U.S. that start in the chimney causing more than $30 million dollars in damage each year.