Question: I have a small fireplace in my apartment(main floor of a 3 story townhouse built approx.. 1905) and I would like to burn wood in it during the winter months. My friend suggested that it could have been used to burn coal because of its size. Does size make a difference? I am having it cleaned and inspected next week (oct 25.1996) however I don't trust the company in answering my questions honestly (they just want the money for the cleaning?!). Can you help me? I also (if it's safe etc.) want to attach a screen with glass doors. Is this a good idea? Answer: 1. Coal - It's difficult to burn "Hard" coal in any open fireplace. Certain types of "brown" coal can be used in open fireplaces. but you should try a small sample first. Most coal needs a tremendous amount of under fire air so you do need a good and compact grate. 2. The Glass Fireplace screen will help save heat in your home from being sucked up the chimney- especially when your fire is dying down and the damper is still open. Get a decent quality door and you will be happy with it.