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Chimney, Attic Damaged in Fire at Novato Home

Damage set at $15,000; no one hurt.

Wood framing in a chimney caught fire Saturday at a west-side Novato home, causing about $15,000 in damage, the Novato Fire District said.

No one was injured and all belongings were saved at 30 Theresa Court, just of Center Road near Eucalyptus Avenue, Division Chief Mark Heine said Sunday.

An emergency call was placed at 9:12 p.m., prompting a response of four engines, a ladder truck, a medical unit and two battalion chiefs, Heine said. The fire spread up the chimney's wood framing and into the attic. Firefighters attacked the blaze and had it under control at 9:26 p.m., Heine said.

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Tina McMillan November 13, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Mine is an insert so it sticks out just enough to put a heat operated fan and a kettle on top. We have had it for about ten years. It still runs great. It just needs a cleaning and a safety check each year. Have you ever used "fatwood" to start fires in an insert? I was told that it was safe but couldn't find any information about resin buildup in the flue. Just curious what other folks are using.
Rico November 13, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Tina, I have never heard of "fatwood", what is it made of ? Pressed mill ends and sawdust that contains glue, formaldehyde and other chemicals used in manufacturing glue lam beams and OSB. No thanks, I only burn real wood in my stove, mainly oak. I think that burning anything other than wood in a stove causes toxic air pollution along with all the other causes of air pollution that the BAAQMD will not stop, like vehicle exhaust, etc., etc, etc. By the way, I bought a brush and clean my own flue and spark arrestor at least twice per year because I burn wood constantly as I am exempt from any silly BAAQMD rules. Another tip, never burn garbage, plastics or green wood. I like the idea of a heat powered fan and will look into that idea, thanks.
Tina McMillan November 13, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Here is a link to Ecofan. It is such a great idea. When you put two up on either end it helps to push the warm air out into the room. I think we got our off of Amazon. http://www.garrettwade.com/product.asp?pn=25T05.01&SID=W6071004&gclid=CN-D95LXzLMCFYN_QgodUgMALQ I found "Fat Wood" at Pini Hardware. It is a fire starter. It usually takes one or two slivers to get a fire going but I was worried about build up of resin in my flue. I will find out this year if that is the case when I get it cleaned. I was just curious if anyone else has used it. We use to have lots of kindling from pine wood scraps but the paper that it takes to get a fire going puts out a lot of nasty particulates. I agree about only burning seasoned wood, particularly dry wood and using different kinds to start a fire and then to keep it burning. We shop at Nero. They have a great product and with the insert we can go through much of the winter on 3/4 of a cord. I use to buy from a fellow up north until I got a bad batch of moldy wood. It was awful. Nero's mix burns well and it supports local business and so it is worth it to me to buy from them. http://nerosfirewood.com/
Rico November 14, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Nero's sells what they call "designer firewood". It is very expensive compared to other sources that I have found. I have to shop around because last year, I burnt 3 and a half cords of pure oak. I have calculated the costs for wood delivered compared to using electric or gas, it is still far less expensive, and I don't have gas. I don't want any gas on my property or in my house for safety reasons. This year, I don't plan on burning much more than 2 cords of oak, but I do gather up the abundance of redwood branches that fall in my yard every year for kindling. Redwood is great for kindling , but terrible for using it for the main firewood. Since Nero's wood lot is located in Novato, you might get a better price than I do in southern Marin (M.V.)
Rico November 14, 2012 at 03:28 AM
I checked out that link about the fans, they look far too big to fit under a wood stove unless it is elevated ? inches above grade. The technical description did not mention the height for these fans, to me that is a red flag. I would never consider buying a product that did not have the dimensions posted in their advertising. Fans do not use much electricity at all, so, if I was very serious, I would buy an electric fan, cut a hole through the floor and run an 8 inch ducting system for use as a central heating system throughout my house. But that is not necessary in my case.

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