MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Officials said Mobile firefighters responded to the report of a fire in on Olive Street, Tuesday around 11 a.m.
Authorities said firefighters arrived within five minutes reporting smoke coming from the attic of the single-story, wood frame structure.
Once inside, firefighters determined the fire was in the wall behind the fireplace and had spread into the attic above. They were able to contain the fire quickly before it spread further.
The occupant had started a fire in the fireplace earlier in the morning for warmth.
Investigators discovered a small gap between the fireplace and the interior wall. They said the heat from the fire entered into that gap causing the wood framing of the wall to catch on fire.
The fire spread upward getting into the attic. The fire is being ruled accidental.
Damage is estimated at approximately $20,000 with no injuries reported.
The Bureau of Fire Prevention conducted the investigation.
Before using a fireplace, be sure to follow these safety precautions.
- Be sure it is installed properly.
- Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned if necessary, especially if it has not been used for some time.
- Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire.
- Keep glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening, to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out, unwanted material from going in, and help prevent the possibility of burns to occupants.
- Don't use excessive amounts of paper to build roaring fires. It is possible to ignite creosote in the chimney by over building the fire.
- Never burn charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal can give off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide.
- Keep flammable and combustible materials away from your mantel. A spark from the fireplace could easily ignite these materials.
- Before going to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out. NEVER close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper will help the fire to heat up again and will force toxic carbon monoxide into the house.
- If synthetic logs are used, follow directions on package. Never break a synthetic log apart to quicken the fire or use more than one log at a time. They often burn unevenly, releasing higher levels of carbon monoxide.
- Never discard hot ashes inside or near home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house.
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