48ºF

Early-morning Danville fire prompts fireplace reminder

Not completely extinguished fire, defective fireplace caused fire

photo

DANVILLE, Va. – An early-morning fire is providing an important reminder for anyone using a fireplace to heat their home.

Danville firefighters responded to 28 Elizabeth Street around 5 a.m.

They found smoke and flames coming out of the house.

One of the two people who lives in the home said a neighbor going to work saw the fire and knocked on the door to alert them.

The resident added that he believed that if the neighbor had not woken them up, they would be dead.

Danville Fire Marshal Shelby Irving said the couple didn't get the fire in their fireplace completely put out before going to bed Thursday night.

"They said they had extinguished the fire earlier in the night, probably about 10:30, 11 o' clock. But when our guys got here, the logs were still smoldering some in the fireplace," Irving said.

There was also a problem with the fireplace.

"There was separation between the wall and the fireplace where the fire started," Irving explained.

"Everyone should have their fireplaces inspected annually. Even throughout the season, just look and make sure there are no cracks in the wall, no cracks in the chimney going up," Irving added.

The age of the home made fighting the fire difficult.

"We had to call in some extra engines. These are very old houses down here and a lot of them have two or three different sidings on them. (The fire) was tough to get to," Irving said.

The Red Cross is assisting the residents.

Irving pointed out that they lost everything and do not have insurance.

Anyone wishing to help the residents can contact the Danville Fire Department at 434-799-5226.