Winter has come across the nation and that means fires in fireplace. I have a couple fires a month in my fireplace. I try and clean out the ashes a few days later and reset wood, sticks and paper for the next fire. A few weeks later I went to light that fire when I noticed some leaves on top of the cut wood. I knew the logs did not have the leaves on them when I set the wood. I took a flashlight and looked up the chimney and discovered many leaves and debris. Apparently a squirrel tried to set a nest, which is not smart for him or his mate, in my chimney. The leaves and debris got caught up in vent closing chain located up in the Chimney. I took a few tools and reached up and cleared the debris.
The moral of the story is, keep a sharp eye for debris on top on wood or possibly not burnt leaves/debris on top of ashes in fireplace. I'm lucky I didn't light the match and start the fire, as smoke would have consumed the house and possibly caused a chimney fire or total house fire. It's amazing what rodents, like a squirrel, can do to a home. Previously I cut back all tree branches limiting the jumping to the roof. I have witnessed them simply walking up frame house siding just as they do a tree. I suppose the next issue is to replace the chimney cap with one with a screen so they can no longer drop the leaves down the chimney. I hope this post helps prevent a homeowner fire, any question please contact Flanigan Insurance @ 314-727-6000.