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Chimney causes concern at Courthouse
The chimney at the Courthouse Cafe in Warragul caused some concern for firefighters last night.
Firefighters were responded to reports of a structure fire in Smith Street, Warragul at about 5:15pm. On arrival, they found smoke and embers coming from the top of the chimney on the third level of the building.
After discussions with the owner, it was determined that the fireplace had just been lit, and the resulting embers and smoke were a result of the initial ignition. The scene was left in the hands of the owner.
A short while later, the brigade attended again when a staff member called and stated that the chimney was becoming hotter. The owner was advised to extinguish the fire, as the chimney wasn't allowing the excess heat to vent sufficiently.
The brigade was responded a third time when the Municipal Building Surveyor had concerns about the excessive heat being generated around the chimney on the second floor. A Thermal Imaging Camera was used to identify hot areas, and Traralgon Ladder Platform was responded to allow firefighters to access the area safely. The chimney was cooled with water from above, to remove the excess heat.
Warragul Fire Brigade Captain Paul Tandberg said "It was identical to a fire we had there a few years ago. They used the fireplace, it got hot, and there were embers coming out the top. For some reason the chimney and bricks were holding the heat very well, even though the fire was out.
"Now is the time to look at making sure everything works in your chimney. CFA have some good resources online that can provide advice on what to check. Thanks to Drouin and Traralgon for supporting us with this call."
You can find advice on preventative maintenance at home at http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/fires-in-the-home/