Question: I got your e-mail address from the Hearthnet forum. I have a question regarding a Defiant stove that has a crack about 2inches long on the upper firewall inside the burning chamber. It is also slightly warped as well as the plate just below it. First, do you think it is safe to continue using it and second, can parts be obtained to repair it and how difficult is it to replace? The stove is about 20 years old. Also, do you know if Vermont Castings in Randolph Vermont has an e-mail address? Answer: A crack in the upper and/or lower fireback (FB) is not a safety hazard, nor should it affect the performance or efficiency of the stove by a large measure. If the crack continues, which by this point may have stabilized, you should be able to replace these parts without disassembling the stove as it sounds like you have a separate upper & lower FB. If the stove has a cast iron cover over the thermostat assembly (where the lever sticks up), then you have a Defiant II Model, manufactured after June of 1980. If the cover is sheet metal, then the stove is older, but has been modified to have a two-piece FB. Parts should be available via most any experience VC dealer. Email for VC? Good luck. You're better off calling (802) 234-6719, and ask for Bill Floyd. He'll give you the best advice regarding parts & service, and relay my best to him please.