Smoldering fireplace embers cause smoke damage; fire prevention tips

 Smoldering fireplace embers cause smoke damage; fire prevention tips

This winter, Mary Beth Breckenridge, the Beacon Journal’s former home and garden writer, had firefighters out to her house twice in two days. 

What happened at Breckenridge’s house is probably not super common, but a good reason for some education on fireplace safety. It’s also a way for readers to catch up with Breckenridge, who left the Beacon in 2017 after nearly 30 years. She is now a Realtor. 

The first time the fire crews came, it was a Saturday. Mary Beth and her husband, Tom, had used their wood-burning fireplace the night before. 

Betty Lin-Fisher

On Saturday, Mary Beth was cleaning and went down to the basement. 

“I went into the basement and said to Tom, ‘It smells like when you first turn the furnace on in the fall,’ ” Mary Beth recalled, saying it was weird to have that smell in the middle of winter with the furnace on.  

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