Flames are visible from the top of a wood stove pipe at a home in the airport subdivision Wednesday, January 31, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the PVFD)

Volunteer fire fighters put out a chimney fire in a Petersburg home Wednesday night. It was the second chimney fire this week for the department.

Crews responded Wednesday night around 7:40 p.m. to a home in the airport subdivision near the Hammer and Wikan shopping center. Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Dave Berg said the fire was burning in the wood stove pipe.

“The metalbestos chimney comes out of the house and went up the side of the house so we weren’t too worried about the structure itself but there was a lot of flame coming out the top of the chimney,” Berg said. “So we were able to get access to the bottom of the chimney itself and squirt some water up there and basically put out the creosote that was burning inside and on the chimney cap. We did send one of our crew up to the top of the roof and he investigated up there and squirted a little more water right on the chimney cap to extinguish the flames that were coming from the top of the chimney.”

Volunteers also had a call to a home on Fram Street for a wood stove fire Monday night. Fire fighters were able to extinguish that one as well. Berg said the glass broke in that wood stove and allowed the fire to heat up and spread into the creosote of the chimney pipe. In both instances, Berg said the home owners had not cleaned out those stove pipes.

“In the colder temperatures especially and you’re not burning your stove very warm frequently the creosote heats up the inside, or the creosote condenses on the surfaces on the inside of the chimney and on the chimney cap and when enough heat gets in the chimney to ignite those they go up in flames,” he explained. “That’s what causes a chimney fire. It can be quite loud inside the house. You can actually hear it burning and cracking inside and it also compromises the interior of a metalbestos chimney. So chimneys have to be inspected after that.”

The fire department has chimney brushes to borrow to keep stove pipes cleaned out. Call the department at 772-3355 to borrow those. In the event of a chimney fire Berg says to call 911. He also recommends pouring a cup of water on the fire, just enough to create some steam but not enough to put out the fire in the stove. That water will turn to steam and can help extinguish burning creosote in a stove pipe.