After fires surge, firefighters urge people to clean their chimneys

 After fires surge, firefighters urge people to clean their chimneys

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Since the beginning of the year, area fire departments have responded to a rash of chimney fires, including four in Manitowoc County in the last two weeks (see related story).

It’s the time of year we all want to be toasty in our homes.

“People, it gets colder outside and they want to feel a little more comfortable, so if they haven’t used their fireplace in a while. OK, chilly night, let’s get a fire going. And if they haven’t had their chimney checked out by professional cleaners, they’re just asking for some issues,” Eric Johnson said.

Johnson is De Pere Fire Rescue’s Assistant Chief of Safety and Training.

He says this time of year, more than one-third of all house fires start as chimney fires.

“Squirrels, raccoons, birds will leave nests in there. Creosote builds up over the year, which is…

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