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Johnston Cite Fire Chief urges fireplace maintenance and safety

As winter starts approaching and the cold weather follows with it, many may want to curl up next to a nice warm fire. 

But before you put your fireplace to work, Johnston City Fire Chief Tom Burton, says you need to check your chimney. 

"What they should do is have a professional company come out check them, clean them and make sure that it’s ready," he explains. 

Last year, Johnston City firefighters were dispatched to two chimney related fires. If that happens, Burton urges you to get away from the fire and call 911. 

"We’ve had a couple fires like that,  people try to put it out beforehand and they thought it was out," he says."They realize that 10-15 minutes later it was still burning ."

Most recently fire crews were called to a house fire in Du Quoin on Thanksgiving evening, which city officials there say, a wood-burning stove may have been the cause.

Meanwhile, Chief Burton reiterates that hiring professionals can help prevent those fires, "Again if people would have it maintenance every year its just not going to cause a problem like that."

Burton has a few other tips such as keeping flammable items area away from the furnace and never leaving a fire unattended. 

"You blow out the candles, you make sure the fire places are taken care of," he explains. "I know they have screens and stuff like that but it should all be taken care of and put out."

In addition to chimney safety, officials recommend checking to make sure your smoke detectors are in working order and also have working batteries.

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News 3 Staff

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