Sweep plea to homeowners after nine chimney fires in Somerset (From Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News)
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Sweep plea to homeowners after nine chimney fires in Somerset
FIREFIGHTERS say the return of sub-zero temperatures has led to an increased risk of chimney fires.
In the past week, firefighters have dealt with at least nine chimney fires in Somerset, including three in the Burnham and Highbridge area.
Crews from Burnham were twice called to West Road, in Lympsham, around 7.45pm last Thursday and again shortly after 3pm on Saturday.
In the first incident, they removed a woodburner to access a hearth; in the second, they had to request help from a second Burnham crew to remove joists from a fireplace.
Burnham firefighters were also sent to Harp Road, Mark, around 7.30pm on Sunday.
All three fires started accidentally.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue said it was vital chimneys were swept regularly.
A spokesman said: “With the return of colder weather, warm open fires are being lit.
“The fire service encourages residents to check their chimney is clean, safe and swept before lighting a fire.
“Chimney fires can cause serious structural damage to a home, with the risks being even greater if the property has a thatched roof.
“The damage is not only fire based but also the dirt and smell left from all the soot and smoke, which would affect your personal property.”