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Chimney Fire Causes Major Damage to Home

Blaze apparently started with fireplace malfunction

 

A house on Heritage Trail suffered $75,000 to $100,000 in damage Saturday after an apparent malfunction in the fireplace or chimney sparked a blaze in the attic.

Fire Chief Jeff Branic said the occupants of the home did not realize there was a problem until a neighbor called to say the back of their house and roof were on fire.

Several people called 911 just after 5 p.m. to report the blaze.

The homeowner, her teenage daughter, 20-month-old son and grandmother were all able to evacuate the home without injury.

Because of the multiple calls and the heavy black smoke, Strongsville called for backup from North Royalton, Brunswick and Middleburg Heights.

Firefighters found no fire on the first or second floor, but saw flames around the chimney and in the attic. 

Crews were able to knock down the fire in the attic, while another team extinguished the outside fire, which had burned through the upper roof and destroyed the chimney.

Firefighters then "overhauled" the second floor, pulling the ceiling and exterior walls in a back bedroom to expose the framework in the ceiling of the first floor near the fireplace, Branic said.

The fire was declared under control just before 6 p.m.

The homeowner told fire investigators they had a fire in the fireplace, but everything had seemed to be normal.

Branic said the investigation is not yet complete, but the fire appears to have been accidental and related to the fireplace and chimney assembly.

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