Hi all. I have a house that was built in 1980 (Bought last year), and we would really like to install a fireplace insert. I believe the original fireplace is a heatilator? It has 4 vents in the brick, two down low for intake, and two up high for the output. There are two blower motors in the low brick vents. When we bought the house there was a very old insert installed with no liner. I removed that last year and to my surprise found a masonry bottom with an ash door, but the rest of the firebox is metal? Also the top is metal rectangular which looks like maybe it was added for the fireplace insert? Above the metal everything goes to a normal clay type liner. We are looking at getting the osburn matrix. As is, i will have to get the projection kit as it is not quite deep enough. I was wondering if i could remove the metal surround which would give me quite a bit more space in there. Would there be any safety hazzards doing this? Attached is a picture of the firebox now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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