Fire Dept Came To My House

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
1,967
Lackawaxen PA
My wife went up to our cabin a few weeks ago on Thursday. She called me a work Friday with this story. She said there was a bit of excitement yesterday, but every thing is ok now. She went on to describe how she cleaned and lit the stove yesterday. After the second reload she heard the water boiling hard in the cast iron pot on top of the stove. The stove top temp was 700F. She closed the air off, but after some time it did nothing to control the fire. She has been running the stove for years, so she knew something was wrong. Since she had never seen a chimney fire, this must be it. We have a chimeex flair but in the panic situation she couldn't understand the written directions. She called our community security and fire dept. Police, 2 fire trucks and first aid all showed up.They all looked but couldn't figure what was the cause uncontrollable fire. Lucky for us they used a IR temp gun to see what the temps were. I spoke to the guys that were there. They said, there guess it wasn't a chimney fire. So they just let it burn out.

So as I heard this story I had my wife go to the stove. Take a look at the ash pan door, I said. Yep, 3/8 inch open at the latch end. She didn't touch it so I could see how this happened.

I got up to the house Saturday. Well the door wasn't closed so the spring loaded latch couldn't be turned fully. The Oslo's ash door has a removable handle that fits into a hole. Real hard to tell you have done it right if you don't look and feal the door fit. But it wasn't just a bad door closing!!! I couldn't close it either. The ash pan was stopping the door. I pulled out the pan, and in back of the ash pan drawer was at 1/2 of ash. Something I clean-out every-time I empty the pan.

I share this with my fellow wood burners so hopefully we can all learn from it. My wife and I learned a few things. If your going to run the stove, you need to know everything about it, and share all your knowledge. We are going to get a few of the chimney flairs and practice using one outside.


Tom
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
Oh yeah, that happened to me also with the Castine. Good sleuthing.
 

Martin Strand III

New Member
Nov 20, 2005
763
NW MI near nowhere
I learned this from Grandpa,
an old Navy man.

Fire is like the sea.
It just waits for the innocent.
But it actually stalks the
unprepared, the careless
and the arrogant.

Aye,
Marty
Grandma used to say
"Fire, like the sea, is a lousy teacher.
First you get the test.
And then you learn the lesson."
 
W

WellSeasoned

Guest
Thanks for the heads up. I can see this being a problem w the jotul. My castine has had ash in the back of the ash area behind the ash pan already, but luckily I noticed it. I quickly then swept it out and returned the pan. And yes the fire will go up fast. You can hear it getting a lot of air.
 
B

BrianK

Guest
xman23 said:
We are going to get a few of the chimney flairs and practice using one outside.
At the risk of revealing my ignorance, can I ask, what is a "chimney flair"?
 

Planethill

New Member
Jan 8, 2012
20
New York
BrianK said:
At the risk of revealing my ignorance, can I ask, what is a "chimney flair"?
"Chimney Flair" is what stove manufactures wear on their shirts at trade shows. :lol:


A "Chimney Flare" is a road-flare like device thrown into your stove to extinguish a chimney fire:

www.Chimfex.com
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
18,909
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I learned pretty quickly when dumping the ash pan to take a few seconds to scoop out the ash that builds up behind the ash pan . . . otherwise in time it will do as you said . . . build up to the point where you cannot get the ash pan door to shut well or at all.

Incidentally . . . how old is the Oslo? My ash pan door handle is not detachable . . . I mean I bet I could remove it with an Allen wrench or something, but it normally is attached all the time.
 

Gamisou

New Member
Feb 9, 2012
22
NE CT
Planethill said:
BrianK said:
At the risk of revealing my ignorance, can I ask, what is a "chimney flair"?
"Chimney Flair" is what stove manufactures wear on their shirts at trade shows. :lol:


A "Chimney Flare" is a road-flare like device thrown into your stove to extinguish a chimney fire:

www.Chimfex.com
WOW those are expensive! I wonder how they would be any different from a standard road flare at a fraction of the cost.
 
S

ScotO

Guest
XMan, great information and lesson learned. You are right when you say we should all share that information here, and that is what is so great about this community of people here on Hearth.com. A member put on a post about the Napoleon pedestal-series stoves and a drafting issue, and the modification he did to rectify it. I have a Napoleon 1900P and I could never get it to slow down to a really lazy flame, which it is supposed to do. Anyway the post lead me to look at my stove and upon doing so I found that the Napoleon never installed the draft correctly, there were loose screws in the brackets that held the draft rod and covers against the stove and it was never able to shut down the whole way. I tightened a few screws and I have gained control that I never had before, and I love the way the stove runs now! Saved me a PILE of wood this winter, I can't imagine how much wood I have wasted over the past 5 yrs because of a loose screw! Thanks to the awesome members on this site, I got it fixed right.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
Tom, we are so happy this turned out okay in the end plus you found the problem so can fix it. At 700 degrees I would doubt you did any damage to the stove. We had our stove at 720 last night and this is not the first time. Of course we corrected the problem quickly and got it down to about 660 is short order and continued enjoying the heat.


Hey guys, don't confuse those road flares with the Chimflex. They are 2 different products and a road flare would not help you a bit in case of a chimney fire.
 
S

ScotO

Guest
Backwoods Savage said:
Hey guys, don't confuse those road flares with the Chimflex. They are 2 different products and a road flare would not help you a bit in case of a chimney fire.
Good point, Dennis. yeah a road flare won't do anything to help put the fire out!!
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
1,967
Lackawaxen PA
Funny thing (now) I forgot, my wife said the firemen were reading a magnetic thermometer they found on the back side of the stove pipe, about 4 ft above the stove. They told her it didn't look to bad. She pointed out to them it was reading the temp of the heat shield on the back side of the single wall pipe..... So we don't know when they decided to test the temp by hand, but we now have 3 large finger prints on the front side of the pipe. I'm sure it was a glove but I can almost see finger prints in the metal.

Gam and Dennis
The stove is fine. Its been to 700 many times in the past. But was it 700 or more. Thats close to the end of the thermometer. I took the burn plates out looked for cracks. No carbon build up in the top now, real clean. Used a mirror to look up the chimney, it to was fine.

Marty, Great words of advice. Always remember your playing with fire.

Brian, That's it a flare that starves the fire of air. Anyone that has one turn the box over a see the pictures of how to light. My wife only found the text on the front or on the flare. Has anyone used one? What kind of mess? Is there an extinguisher that will work? What type? My wife wants a few small one near the stove.

Jake, mine is about 10-11 years old. It has 2 piece cast iron burn plates. The ash door latch is a straight pin with a 1/4 inch hole. The handle fits into this hole and you need to swing the handle around to clear the overhanging fount door ash shelf.

Scott, Yes one of the great things here, is the very knowledgeable people that are willing to help.

Tom
 

tcassavaugh

Minister of Fire
Jan 10, 2010
1,047
Southern Maryland
my little jotul F3CB can easily build up ash behind the pan after a cleaning or two. i make sure i scrape it out every time i empty the ash pan. good lesson learned as there was no damage.

cass
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,427
Midwest
Gamisou said:
Planethill said:
BrianK said:
At the risk of revealing my ignorance, can I ask, what is a "chimney flair"?
"Chimney Flair" is what stove manufactures wear on their shirts at trade shows. :lol:


A "Chimney Flare" is a road-flare like device thrown into your stove to extinguish a chimney fire:

www.Chimfex.com
WOW those are expensive! I wonder how they would be any different from a standard road flare at a fraction of the cost.
...compared to buying a new house, I'd go with the $38.95 flare. I keep the flue pretty clean, but have one on hand as 'cheap insurance'.
 

pen

There are some who call me...mod.
Staff member
Aug 2, 2007
7,946
N.E. Penna
cozy heat said:
...compared to buying a new house, I'd go with the $38.95 flare. I keep the flue pretty clean, but have one on hand as 'cheap insurance'.
Now's a good time to stop into Tractor Supply or similar places that have winter items like these on sale. I've seen them for under 15 bucks this time of year.

pen
 

mossycup

Member
Dec 4, 2010
73
Northern Illinois
firefighterjake said:
I learned pretty quickly when dumping the ash pan to take a few seconds to scoop out the ash that builds up behind the ash pan . . . otherwise in time it will do as you said . . . build up to the point where you cannot get the ash pan door to shut well or at all.
This is the exact reason why I've given up on using the ash pan. It is too involved - clearing everything over the grate so it doesn't spill into the ash pan housing when the pan is out, shimmying the ash pan back and forth to level out any heaping so it doesn't plow off into the housing...by the time 24/7 burning arrives it's diffucult to keep up with the heaping pan mess, using a tool to scrape the ash out, laying down on the floor the get the stuff in the back, keeping the ash door opening and gasket clean...complete PITA.

It is ok for shoulder season burning, but no dice for 24/7 winter use. The ash pan was driving a wedge between me and the stove. Since I let the ash pan fill up to the grate, our love affair has been renewed. She retains and puts out heat longer and smoother than I could have asked for. I don't feel pressured or rushed to clean out the ash pan so it doesn't overfill and make a mess.

A $2.00 chinese ash shovel and an American made Behrens 6 Gallon trash can have made life cleaner and much simpler.
 

pgmr

Feeling the Heat
Jan 14, 2006
403
Central Indiana
xman23 said:
Is there an extinguisher that will work? What type? My wife wants a few small one near the stove.
Tom
Don't keep the extinguisher(s) near the stove. Keep them near the exits. If you have it in hand at the exit, you can decide whether the fire is small enough to fight or simply get out. Keeping them near potential sources of fire adds risk during a panic filled event.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
18,909
Unity/Bangor, Maine
mossycup said:
firefighterjake said:
I learned pretty quickly when dumping the ash pan to take a few seconds to scoop out the ash that builds up behind the ash pan . . . otherwise in time it will do as you said . . . build up to the point where you cannot get the ash pan door to shut well or at all.
This is the exact reason why I've given up on using the ash pan. It is too involved - clearing everything over the grate so it doesn't spill into the ash pan housing when the pan is out, shimmying the ash pan back and forth to level out any heaping so it doesn't plow off into the housing...by the time 24/7 burning arrives it's diffucult to keep up with the heaping pan mess, using a tool to scrape the ash out, laying down on the floor the get the stuff in the back, keeping the ash door opening and gasket clean...complete PITA.

It is ok for shoulder season burning, but no dice for 24/7 winter use. The ash pan was driving a wedge between me and the stove. Since I let the ash pan fill up to the grate, our love affair has been renewed. She retains and puts out heat longer and smoother than I could have asked for. I don't feel pressured or rushed to clean out the ash pan so it doesn't overfill and make a mess.

A $2.00 chinese ash shovel and an American made Behrens 6 Gallon trash can have made life cleaner and much simpler.
Gotta disagree . . . the ash pan is one of the best features of this stove in my opinion . . . especially if you're burning 24/7 as I find it easier to take care of the ash every 3-4 days.

I stir things up before I pull the ash pan . . . give it a few back and forth shakes to level out the ash and pull it out . . . go outside and dump it (after closing the ash pan door) . . . come back in and use a flat fireplace shovel to scoop up the bits of ash that have fallen in the back . . . and slide the pan back in . . . a 5 minute job at most and little to no mess on the hearth.

Honestly, the messiest job is when I open the front door to load or clean the glass . . . and the ash spills out on to the ash lip . . . although the free ash vac I won has made this a much easier and quicker job now.

That said . . . my own philosophy is that whatever works for you or works for me is what works for us . . . as long as we got the heat and the stove works well!
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
18,909
Unity/Bangor, Maine
pgmr said:
xman23 said:
Is there an extinguisher that will work? What type? My wife wants a few small one near the stove.
Tom
Don't keep the extinguisher(s) near the stove. Keep them near the exits. If you have it in hand at the exit, you can decide whether the fire is small enough to fight or simply get out. Keeping them near potential sources of fire adds risk during a panic filled event.
Good advice . . . but to add to the original question . . . ABC dry chemical extinguisher . . . you can find them at most hardware and department stores.
 

Planethill

New Member
Jan 8, 2012
20
New York
I noticed that the instructions say that when activated, "place next to the fire, not in the fire". With my stove I'm not sure where that would be!
 

Coleman Stove

New Member
Jan 15, 2012
38
Texas
xman23 said:
My wife went up to our cabin a few weeks ago on Thursday. She called me a work Friday with this story. She said there was a bit of excitement yesterday, but every thing is ok now. She went on to describe how she cleaned and lit the stove yesterday. After the second reload she heard the water boiling hard in the cast iron pot on top of the stove. The stove top temp was 700F. She closed the air off, but after some time it did nothing to control the fire. She has been running the stove for years, so she knew something was wrong. Since she had never seen a chimney fire, this must be it. We have a chimeex flair but in the panic situation she couldn't understand the written directions. She called our community security and fire dept. Police, 2 fire trucks and first aid all showed up.They all looked but couldn't figure what was the cause uncontrollable fire. Lucky for us they used a IR temp gun to see what the temps were. I spoke to the guys that were there. They said, there guess it wasn't a chimney fire. So they just let it burn out.

So as I heard this story I had my wife go to the stove. Take a look at the ash pan door, I said. Yep, 3/8 inch open at the latch end. She didn't touch it so I could see how this happened.

I got up to the house Saturday. Well the door wasn't closed so the spring loaded latch couldn't be turned fully. The Oslo's ash door has a removable handle that fits into a hole. Real hard to tell you have done it right if you don't look and feal the door fit. But it wasn't just a bad door closing!!! I couldn't close it either. The ash pan was stopping the door. I pulled out the pan, and in back of the ash pan drawer was at 1/2 of ash. Something I clean-out every-time I empty the pan.

I share this with my fellow wood burners so hopefully we can all learn from it. My wife and I learned a few things. If your going to run the stove, you need to know everything about it, and share all your knowledge. We are going to get a few of the chimney flairs and practice using one outside.


Tom
WOW! That's crazy, I hope that the damage wasn't substantial.

What did they say?