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Stanton St. Fire Caused By a Wood Pellet Stove - Actually combustibles near the exhaust!!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Don2222, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Salem NH
    Hello

    What happens when you put combustibles right near the wood pellet stove exhaust??

    http://www.kktv.com/home/headlines/5518381.html

    Stanton St. Fire Caused By Pellet Stove
    Wednesday’s three-alarm fire that damaged two homes in Colorado Springs is being blamed on a pellet stove.
    Reporter: McKenzie Martin
    Email Address: mmartin@kktv11news.com

    Wednesday’s three-alarm fire that damaged two homes in Colorado Springs is being blamed on a pellet stove.

    Both homes were completely gutted and the people who lived there lost everything. Fire officials say a pellet stove ignited and within moments the fire was out of control.

    It's a scene Sharon Sanders can't get out of her mind.

    "I could only just stand there and watch," she said.

    Stand and watch as her house went up in flames, Sharon says she had only been home for about 20 minutes when her son noticed the back wall of their house was on fire.

    "The smoke started coming into the house and the fire came in through the ceiling," Sharon said.

    And then it spread with lightning speed, jumping from Sharon's house to her next door neighbors. A day later fire investigators say a pellet stove is to blame. They say the fire actually started outside of Sharon's house, under the deck, where the exhaust system for the stove was located too close to combustible materials.

    "Most problems of any kind are just lack of maintenance or improper installation," said Mark Humphrey who installs stoves.

    He says this latest fire is a prime example of what can happen if you're stove is installed incorrectly and not maintained.

    "If it does get built up it can ignite and if you're clearances aren’t met on your stove then it can catch something else on fire," Humphrey said.

    Pellet stoves need to be cleaned annually just like a normal fireplace. Also the venting for the stoves needs to be installed at least 3 inches away from anything combustible.

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  2. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    Don 2222,

    Do you sit around and surf the net every day looking for a fire that is sparked by a pellet stove???

    I don't even know you and I'm worried about you. ;-P ;-P
    Defiant likes this.
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Don is a connoisseur of stupid human burning tricks.
    Defiant likes this.
  4. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Well, You may notice that these fire postings get more views than many other postings. Also I want to know if these fires are really caused by the wood pellet stove!

    So far I think you are right Smokey, most of these fires are caused by improper handling or human error and not the wood pellet stove itself!!!
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sorry to read this. It's pretty tragic.

    We see people trying to bend safety and clearances all the time here. This is a possible outcome. It's one thing when you destroy your own home, but when it also takes out an innocent neighbor's it is bordering on criminal negligence.
    Defiant likes this.
  6. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Yes BeGreen it is very tragic.

    That is the main reason why I did not like living in an apartment building!
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    What gets me about these stories and a lot of other safety related things posted is that some folks don't believe that such things can happen.

    Folks have trouble separating what happens when properly installed and handled things are not properly installed or handled. They even go so far as to poo poo the warnings that are plastered all through the manuals.

    Kind of like wiring multi way switches, it makes a difference in terms of safety, or handling firearms.
  8. Souzafone

    Souzafone Feeling the Heat

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    "outside of Sharon’s house, under the deck, where the exhaust system for the stove was located "

    Either a bonehead installation, or a bonehead deck builder. Who would install a stove vent under a deck, or build a deck over a stove vent?
    Defiant likes this.
  9. TLHinCanada

    TLHinCanada Feeling the Heat

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    I remember a short time ago (couple of weeks) reading a similar thread of whether to install a vent under a deck or continue through it vertically. There was some for and against. I think the issue has been decided.
    Defiant likes this.
  10. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    can be done, Souza, as long as clearance criterion are followed.
    Defiant likes this.
  11. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    But what about all the dried leaves that are blown under the deck and accumulate around the vent? We've all read stories here about sparks coming out of the exhaust. You can be within spec as far as clearances go but if you have a foot of leaves piled up, there go the clearances!

    Unfortunately, if these keep happening, I smell Big Brother stepping in with more regulations and the insurance companies finding more excuses to raise your rates.
  12. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    well, Im betting it also doesnt say in the owner's manual not to drop hot ashes in a pizza box on the porch, buuuuut, well, stupid is as stupid does. And you dont need a deck to accumulate leaves, just a calm spot by the foundation....can happen anywhere....
    Defiant likes this.
  13. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    That is true.

    Wish there was a little more detailed in the report. The way I read it, the so called combustibles sound more than just leaves. Maybe trash was kept under there and who knows what other things.

    One of my neighbors cut his grass with his lawn tractor. Then put it under his deck and threw a cover on it while the engine was still hot. Then took off to the store with noone else at home!

    Well by the time the fire trucks arrived the whole side of this very new house was engulfed and it was a total loss!!!

    So I do not think it is the deck, it is what you put under it!

    See pics - As you can tell the deck was first to go!!! Also the firefighter found the tractor!
    http://www.firepicsnh.com/Events/ar...estrian-Rd-6-1/12773123_xGgxD#920502555_6zLvS

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