At 8.20pm last evening Woodend CFA was called to a chimney fire at a prominent Woodend facility. Woodend pumper was first on scene and discovered the mantle piece in the living room was smoking heavily. 17 residents were evacuated. An extinguisher had been used initially by a supervisor to try and extinguish the fire. On examination, the fire appeared to be still burning behind the mantle piece and a large mirror above it. Volunteers finished up having to remove the mantle piece, where they discovered burning embers. The mirror then cracked as soon as it was hit by water, showing that it was indeed very hot. In fact, by using a Thermal Imaging Camera it was found to indicate a temperature of over 200 degrees celsius. Crews removed a row of bricks to access the wall/ chimney cavity, where the hot ashes were removed and the fire extinguished.
Power was also isolated to the room as a live wire was discovered running across the mantle piece. The cause of the fire was likely to be the fact that the fire had been roaring prior to the emergency and stacked with timber – a timely reminder that a gentle fire is a safe fire.
The job was run by Woodend Lieutenant Steve Ritchie with volunteer crews also from Macedon, Tylden and Carlsruhe also attending.