A reminder to those with fireplaces inside their homes. Omaha Assistant Fire Marshall Jim Gentile says a family was using their fireplace as a heat source as their furnace was not in working order last Friday, October 21st. A fire broke out in the chimney. He says this is a perfect example as to why fireplaces, especially older ones, need to be checked each year. He says with older fireplaces mortars crumble between the brick and walls can then catch on fire.
The family did not have a working smoke detector inside their home. Gentile says there is a three-point check list that every family needs to follow. He says have furnaces checked each year. Have fireplaces and chimneys checked and have a working smoke detector.
Gentile says creosote buildup intensifies the heat in the fireplace flue and can be dangerous. He says that is why professional needs to be called to check for that build up and to see if everything is in working order. The professional can also determine if the chimney is in good shape.
Police officers and firefighters rescued all four people from their burning home. Gentile adds many fire departments around the state provide free smoke detectors and some will even install it free of charge.