Firefighters tackle chimney blaze in Arundel

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FIREFIGHTERS were called to a chimney blaze at a house in Arundel last night (Wednesday, November 19).

A crew from the town rushed to a home in Torton Hill Road, at 7.40pm following an emergency call.

Firefighters remained on scene for 34 minutes while using chimney equipment and a thermal imaging camera to ensure the property was safe.

Yesterday’s incident follows in the wake of safety advice given to homeowners by the fire service on how to avoid chimney fires.

Last year, fire crews across West Sussex were called to extinguish 168 chimney fires in the county, with many homes left badly damaged as a result.

Community fire safety officer for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Jackie Boyle, said: “Chimney fires are one of the most frequent blazes our crews attend, but the truth is that many of them could easily be prevented.

“They are often caused by infrequent cleaning or sweeping, wet or unseasoned logs being burned or fires being left overnight.

“All chimneys and flue-ways should be cleaned and checked to ensure they are free from debris. A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning so it’s very important to employ a professional, qualified chimneysweep.”

The advice came as part of the national Fire Kills campaign.

The fire service said maintenance of your chimney depended on what fuel you burn.

If you burn smokeless coal, you should sweep your chimney once a year. For wood it is four times a year. Oil and gas are once a year, and those burning bituminous coal should clean their chimneys twice a year.

The service also urged residents with chimneys to use a fireguard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers, when burning wood, use dry, seasoned woods only, ensure the fire is fully extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house, and ensure there is a working smoke alarm on each level of your home.

Fire safety advice is free and easy to access from here.

To find a local chimney sweep click here or call 0800 833464.