Two Letters Re: Our Experience with a Chimney Fire

Mr. Rawles:
Regarding the reader who had the chimney fire and put it out with a 10 pound bag of baking soda:

We were told by our fire chief that some insurance companies will refuse to pay for damage done in an “undocumented” chimney fire. How do you “document” a chimney fire? You have to call the fire department, and then it becomes a matter of record. In addition, putting the fire out in the firebox does not guarantee that a smaller fire isn’t burning somewhere up in the attic or the eaves.

So you might be embarrassed, but even firefighters get chimney fires at their own houses. Far better to call the trained professionals than to risk greater damage or have your insurance company refuse to pay for the fix. – Janet S.


The contributor’s chimney fire report included information about flue tiles damage and consequent repair expense. A metal chimney insert would be far less expensive and also upgrade the safety of the existing chimney. Bob