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  1. #1
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    Default Chimney Fires - What do you take to the roof?

    For a chimney fire we have a bucket of stuff we take to the roof. This includes a couple of chains, brushes, a weight, baking soda, and carabineers. All of this stuff is in the buck and tends to get tangled up with the chain. How do you guys do it? Is there a better way?


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    Try keeping the chains in pillowcases.

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    Forum Member KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
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    Anyone use "Chimney bombs"?
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    This is how I like to approach chimney fires.

    First of all, chimney fires are not all created equal. Is it contained in the chimney or is there extension (first thing I ask myself).

    Initial attempts (from interior):
    1. Crew takes in a metal bucket, water can, chimnex, and TIC.
    2. Remove burning materials (into metal bucket with lid) to the outside.
    3. Strike chimney flare and put into firebox.
    4. Check walls with TIC (on all floors)

    If there is still any doubts
    Send the following to the roof:
    Chimney chain (we keep it in one of those red flare storage containers)
    Small toolbox
    1. Remove any screens or caps.
    2. Run a chain down the chimney and try to knock materials free

    Still in doubt?
    1. Positive pressure fan to front door and a dry chem to the interior.
    2. Pressurize house, and shoot short bursts of dry chem up the flue.

    Last resort?
    Put water into chimney w/fog nozzle in short bursts.

    We have also used "Cold Fire" www.firefreeze.com. Neat stuff, wont damage hot metal if applied to it.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    We get chimney fires every winter.

    95% of the time, water can, short bursts down the chimney takes care of it.

    If the fire is bigger, small bursts, from the can, in the hotbox at the bottom will knock it out. We use the steam to displace oxygen and knock out the fire. Works especially well with stoves that we can close up so that the steam gets drawn up, not so well with fireplaces.

    Check for extension. TIC is useful for this. We also use the TIC to make sure the fire is out.

    If the chimney is really gunked up, we have a special chimney nozzle that goes on the end of a booster line and is lowered down the chimney from the top. It puts out a fine water mist 360į around the nozzle. Its also weighted and pointed to force its way past blockages. The booster line is used because its extra stiffness makes pushing it down the chimney easier. We practice setting this up, but have needed it once in the past five years.

    Don't use chains, brushes or any of that other stuff. We give the home owner the cards from each of the 3 chimney sweeps in our area and tell them to have the chimney cleaned and inspected before they use it again.

    On a side note, we are getting more and more homeowners putting metal roofs on. As a result, we are working from the stick more and more and not getting on the roof.

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    Every chimney involving a masonry chimney should have an established collapse zone. I have seen two incidents of the chimney collapsing during fire suppression of fires in the area of the chimney. One of these collapses resulted in an LODD. Older chimneys are often not properly connected to the building. If the fire is in the wall, these connectors (nails, straps, etc.) may be compromised.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Every chimney involving a masonry chimney should have an established collapse zone. I have seen two incidents of the chimney collapsing during fire suppression of fires in the area of the chimney. One of these collapses resulted in an LODD. Older chimneys are often not properly connected to the building. If the fire is in the wall, these connectors (nails, straps, etc.) may be compromised.
    Thanks for adding that. Those of us in Morris County should never forget this critical point.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Thanks for adding that. Those of us in Morris County should never forget this critical point.
    Some of us never will. That was my job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Older chimneys are often not properly connected to the building. If the fire is in the wall, these connectors (nails, straps, etc.) may be compromised.
    While I understand what you are saying and agree completely that chimneys are often serious hazards that are overlooked, I believe NFPA 211 requires that masonary chimneys be free standing and not connected to the building. The rationale seems to be that houses/buildings move over time and the masonary (no give) chimney should not be forced to move with them. The problems with older chimneys is often found when the lowest portion is on an elevated floor and does not go into the basement and rest on solid ground. I've even seen a few that stop at the cieling/floor assemble and then continue above using the framing of the floor as part of the chimney! Oddly enough, none of these were found as a result of a fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    While I understand what you are saying and agree completely that chimneys are often serious hazards that are overlooked, I believe NFPA 211 requires that masonary chimneys be free standing and not connected to the building. The rationale seems to be that houses/buildings move over time and the masonary (no give) chimney should not be forced to move with them. The problems with older chimneys is often found when the lowest portion is on an elevated floor and does not go into the basement and rest on solid ground. I've even seen a few that stop at the cieling/floor assemble and then continue above using the framing of the floor as part of the chimney! Oddly enough, none of these were found as a result of a fire.
    That's great for new construction... but George's point must be taken for any structure built before NFPA 211 was adopted.. and there are a lot of them.
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    I have always been told that you shouldn't spray water on a chimney fire because it will crack the masonry. But back to the original question, is there a better way to carry the chain and stuff?

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    Maybe you missed this initial reply from MG3610...

    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    Try keeping the chains in pillowcases.
    Based on what you said your set up is, this sounds like a viable option. Have you tried it yet?

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    Back to my question...does anyone use the ziplock bags filled with Class A powder? I was wondering how effective these are because we might be adding some to our chimney kit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    I have always been told that you shouldn't spray water on a chimney fire because it will crack the masonry. But back to the original question, is there a better way to carry the chain and stuff?
    We have heavy mesh bags for the chains. Strap should be long enough to carry over the shoulder so you have free hands for the climb.
    Nobody ever called the fire department for doing something smart.

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    Back to my question...does anyone use the ziplock bags filled with Class A powder? I was wondering how effective these are because we might be adding some to our chimney kit.
    We use the sandwich bags filled with class A power. They work great. We check for extension, remove whatever is in the fire box and then use the chimney bombs.

    To trotters original questions, we take the chain up by itself if we need it, and another FF carries the chimney bombs. Those are kept in an old coffee container.

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    ...................
    Last edited by RoughRider; 10-10-2007 at 02:49 PM. Reason: Duplicated post
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    We use a large heavy duty canvas toolbag for our chains.

    We use the sandwich bags filled with class A power. They work great.
    Do you yell "fire in the hole" before you drop your Chimney Bomb?
    Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.

    The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.


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    Probably jinxing myself, but I have not been to a chimney fire that required anything to be done, other than remove the wood at the bottom, in over 10 years.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Probably jinxing myself, but I have not been to a chimney fire that required anything to be done, other than remove the wood at the bottom, in over 10 years.
    I had a great one last year that had flames shooting out the top of the chimney about 10 feet.

    Pretty neat looking!
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    We have the chimney bombs, we fill baggies with baking soda. I was kind of hoping someone would have a neat gadget or something for the chain and all the stuff. Somebody the other night mentioned putting the chain on a tire rim to keep it from tangling. I was hoping to find something like that.

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