Note: This blog post is based on an article that appears in this month’s edition of Sweeping magazine. Photo by Black Goose Chimney. Caption: The stove, which was in use during the staff’s initial trip to the client’s house.

By Jim Bostaph, President – Black Goose Chimney | Treasurer, Board of Directors, Chimney Safety Institute of America

The phone rang at 12:40 p.m.

“Thank you for choosing Black Goose Chimney.  My name is Ike, how may I help you?”

It was Daisy Johnson from the Surry County Crisis Program.

Ike Rowland, our VP of Operations, asked how we could help. Daisy said she had a client with a no-heat emergency.

The client’s only source of heat was an old wood stove, and there were issues.

The address was outside our local service area, more than an hour away, but we were still willing to go.

MORE: Read about Jim and Ike and the Black Goose Chimney team.

She told Ike the budget for the trip fee, the inspection, the cleaning, and any repairs. She gave us the contact information for the client and we called within the hour.

One of our crews had finished early that day, so we were able to send them the same afternoon to do the inspection and see if there was a quick fix to the problem.

They found an old Wood Chief stove that was listed in 1978. The door would not stay closed, the glass front was cracked, the stove was rusted, most of the firebricks were missing or broken, and inside the stove, the metal brick clips and walls were warped.  Clearances to the side and rear were not met and the stove rested directly on the vinyl floor.

The trip to the rooftop showed the clay liners did not extend “above the roofline and the scan showed the remaining tiles were all fractured.

MORE: Interested in inspecting your old wood stove and chimney? Hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep using our free zip-code locator.

What a mess!

We called back to the Crisis Program and told them our recommendations were to reline the chimney and replace the stove, making sure the new stove met proper clearances and had the required floor protection. When we started talking dollars, she stated this range was well beyond the limited budget they were allowed.

Our next call was to Russ Dimmitt at Copperfield Chimney Supply.

He had helped us out with a similar charity project a few years back. Russ and Copperfield gladly donated a new stove, a Timberwolf Economizer, the connector pipes, liner, insulation, and component kit.

Ike — who is also a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep — and a crew returned to the home a few days later after securing a building permit and taking delivery of the materials. The old tiles came out, the new liner and insulation went in. The old stove went out, the new stove, floor protection, and connector pipes went in.  We even bricked up the old breach and installed a new terra cotta thimble in a better spot.

The atmosphere at our office was a happy one, we were able to help a family in need.  A few days later the phone rang again.  It was the client, stating the new stove didn’t heat as well as the old one; what could we do?  One more call to Copperfield.  Would it be possible to get the optional blower for the stove?  Russ was out at the time of the call, but we received a call back in less than an hour stating the blower was on the way – no charge.

One last trip to the home.  The blower was installed, the client briefed on the operation, the stove was fired up and the blower worked perfectly.  Smiles all around and the satisfaction of a job well done.

Thanks to Russ Dimmitt and Copperfield for all that you do to help!

Read more about Copperfield Chimney on their Facebook page.