On Sunday March 24 at 11:33 p.m. the Brewster Fire Department responded to 45 Cranberry Lane for a reported chimney fire. On arrival at the 1.5 story private dwelling Engine 234 under the command of Firefighter Glen Cefalo found an active fire within the chimney with flames showing from the exterior at the top of the flue. Based on these conditions a full department recall was requested for additional manpower. Ladder 237 and Car 231 arrived on scene with Car 231 (Fire Chief Moran) assuming command. The ladder crew placed ground and roof ladders to the roof and initiated clean out and suppression operations. Additional personnel arrived on Engine 239 and were assigned to the interior areas of the structure to check for fire extension and to remove the blockage from within the flue. All living and attic areas were evaluated using the thermal imaging camera (TIC). This state-of-the-art equipment allows firefighters to search for heat sources and fire hidden within walls and other void spaces in the structure without causing structural damage. Our professional staff of firefighters was able to remove the blockage and fully extinguish the fire within approximately one hour with no extension into the building. Units were placed back into service approximately 1 ½ hours after the initial call.
An interesting note about this fire is that the homeowner who was inside the residence at the time of the incident was unaware of the fire until a neighbor who saw flames and embers coming from the chimney quickly called 911 to report the fire. During this incident the fire department also responded to a Priority 2 medical call at which a mutual aid ambulance from Harwich transported the patient to Cape Cod Hospital.
The Brewster Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to remind residents who utilize fireplaces and wood burning stoves to have their chimneys and flues cleaned and/or inspected by a professional cleaning service on an annual basis. Remember, preventing these types of incidents from occurring and causing damage to your residence should be a priority for every homeowner.