When our National Chimney Sweep Training School was in session last week, our instructors ignited a controlled chimney fire, part of the hands-on experience they give chimney sweeps in training.

You can see video of that fire below, and we wanted to share it with you because it’s important that homeowners be able to identify a chimney fire when it occurs.

We are all used to seeing smoke vent from chimneys, but it’s clear when something more than wood in the fireplace has ignited, as you’ll see when you play the video.

Chimney fires, more often than not, give off heavy dense smoke that is dark in color.

You’re likely to hear loud cracking and popping noises as the fire sucks oxygen into the chimney and the extreme heat damages the lining of the chimney structure.

There potentially will be an intense burning odor, too.


The second call you need to make after a chimney fire (the first call should be to your local fire department) is to your local CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep.

Even a quickly controlled chimney fire has the potential to cause dramatic damage to your chimney’s structure, exposing the connected frame of your home to heat and flames when you light future fireplace fires.

A CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep will need to conduct a Level 2 Inspection, at a minimum, following a chimney fire, and this thorough inspection and any related repairs will help protect your home from further fire damage.

And remember, the best way to help prevent a chimney fire is to schedule an annual inspection with a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep ahead of the home heating season.