On Tuesday January 2, 2018 at approximately 11:30 AM the Michigan City Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire at 111 Beachwalk Lane. Upon arrival, firefighters found a two story home with light smoke inside and smoke coming from the chimney area outside. Crews inside the structure found the rafters on fire in the attic near the chimney and were able to extinguish the fire within minutes. According to Fire Marshall Kyle Kazmierczak the fire appeared to have started due to a buildup of creosote in the fire Chimney. Two residents were home at the time of the fire and escaped without any injuries.
Car 10 Command Vehicle, Engine 1, Engine 2 Quint, Engine 3 and Tower One responded and the Quint was quickly set up to provide manpower on the roof to extinguish the fire. Other agencies on scene to assist were Michigan City Police Department, Michigan City Street Department, NIPSCO and Laporte County EMS.
As a reminder to residents using fireplaces and wood burning stoves this time of year is to have your chimneys serviced for the buildup of creosote and other problems in the chimney flute. The best way to control creosote is to prevent its buildup by maintaining a briskly burning fire with dry, well-seasoned wood. Maintain a flue temperature exceeding 250 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent creosote condensation. When wood is burning rather slowly, the smoke usually contains a substance called creosote that collects in the relatively cool chimney flue. The main causes of creosote buildup are wet or unseasoned wood, incomplete combustion and cools surfaces.
For more information, please contact Tony Drzewiecki, Michigan City Fire Department Public Information Officer at (219) 873-1443.