DOVER — A structural beam next to a chimney caught fire at a home on Valley View Road Friday morning.
West and East Dover Fire Departments arrived at the chimney fire at 10:49 a.m. The chief of the West Dover Fire Department, Richard Werner, said he believes that perhaps a crack may have allowed heat to get to this structural member, causing it to catch fire. Though the fire was deemed under control at 11:22 a.m., the firefighters did not leave the scene until 1:15 p.m.
"The people at the home noticed some smoke, had a fire extinguisher and called right away, which allowed us to get to it in time," said Werner. "If they had ignored it, it would have gotten worse."
Eight firefighters total from East and West Dover departments responded to the chimney fire, and Werner said there are some precautions to consider in homes with a chimney. For starters, he noted that it is important for people to make sure ambers are not placed near anything that could potentially catch on fire.
"Sometimes people will wait a day or two after and will vacuum up the ashes or put them in a paper bag," said Werner. He emphasized that this can be unsafe because though the ashes seem cold, they may still set aflame.
"It's always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher near a chimney," he added.
The beam was encased in masonry, but did not go through the flue or the fire chamber. Werner said about a 3-foot section of the four by six board was damaged and some of the roof boards.
"I really appreciate East Dover coming over to help," said Werner.