Fires starting in chimneys keeping firefighters busy in Roanoke County

ROANOKE, Va.- – It hasn't been a quiet new year so far for Roanoke County firefighters. Their trucks  rushed to put out flames starting in the chimney of homes around the county.
Capt. Dean Peroulas, of Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department said such fires could be prevented. 

"It's safe practice, before you actually start burning in the fireplaces, to have a professional chimney sweep come out and clean it to make sure nothing is built up," said Peroulas. 

Fires of this type are not unusual when it gets very cold.

"It starts to pick up this time of the year because people are trying to heat their houses more efficiently and there is an abundance of wood," said Peroulas. 

As the winter weather continues, Peroulas said, other heating items, such as space heaters, can cause the Fire and Rescue Department to show up at your doorstep.

As another way to prevent chimney fires, the Fire and Rescue Department can perform a free inspection of your fireplace and wood stove.