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Chimney fires top concern after Columbia house burns

Chimney and electrical fires are more than half of the reported fires that happen during the winter months. The dangers of the winter were shown early Tuesday morning when a local home on Country Lane caught fire. The cause of the fire looked to be coming from the flue.

While the family did not wish to be interviewed, a huge pile of burned parts of their home lay in the front yard.

Chimney inspector, Dale Deraps, says he looks for one overall thing, “Fire safety is a very simple issue. You have to keep the hot stuff away from what can burn.”

Deraps has been working with chimneys for over 30 years and believes he knows the problem that occurred in the Country Lane home. “That was a hidden birth defect. So unfortunately there are thousands of ticking time bombs here in Central Missouri. Embedded lumber behind the fire place, behind the mantel, smoke chambers that are too thin.”

Deraps suggests that in order for fires to be prevented, homeowners should get their chimneys inspected at least once a year by a certified technician.

The National Fire Prevention Association also says to check your smoke alarms monthly.

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