Chimney fire damages Spring Lake Township home

Firefighters from three departments responded to an early morning fire today on Hemlock Street.
Becky Vargo
Dec 16, 2013

Police blocked the Spring Lake Township road, between West Spring Lake Road and 168th Avenue, for a couple hours as firefighters contained an attic fire in a home at 16500 Hemlock.

Firefighters responded to residence shortly after 7 a.m. when homeowner Brian Cena called 911 and reported his house was filling with smoke.

Cena said smoke alarms started going off.

"The whole house filled with smoke," he said. "I got the wife and kids out."

Cena said he checked the house and garage, but didn't see any flames. Then he saw smoke coming from the wall near the living room fireplace, so he called 911.

The homeowner said he used the fireplace Sunday for the first time this winter.

Spring Lake Township Deputy Fire Chief John Stalzer said fire escaped the fireplace and got into a dead space behind the structure. It then extended into the attic.

"There was limited fire damage and some smoke damage," he said.

The fire was confirmed out just under an hour after it was reported.

Firefighters from Ferrysburg and Crockery fire departments assisted at the scene.

Crockery Township firefighters left shortly after 8 a.m. to assist on a house fire in Fruitport.

Cena said the house is insured.



People please get your fireplace and chimney inspected regularly. You should sweep it at least once a year or after each Cord burned. And always make sure the chimney is clear of bird nests. This family is lucky today.


Is this advice also necessary with gas logs instead of wood?


Inspection, yes. The heating and cooling causes expansion and contraction of the pipes and the mortar in the old chimneys. The joints can separate, pipes can crack causing gaps for smoke, heat and even fire to escape the chimney. Nests from birds or bees can plug the vents which in a gas log fireplace can cause the CO2 to back up into the house.

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