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Treebeard's Stumper
7 December 2001

Burned Again

I love rainy days and freezing nights, especially sitting in front of a cozy fire glowing in the fireplace or wood stove. But there's a danger when we fire up our stoves for winter. Soot and creosote in dirty chimneys can burn explosively in a chimney fire. The cure is to have a chimney sweep clean the smokestack. The stumper is that this "fuel" is just a build up of smoke particles that have already burned. Charcoal is another fuel made from burned wood. I understand that wood can burn. But how is it that chimney soot and charcoal can burn again?

Our great Vermont Castings wood stove is our only heat source at home. I
opened the doors for this photo, but we usually keep them closed. That
makes it more efficient, but it burns coolor and increases the chance of a...
Chimney fire! Fortunately this wasn't my
house. I found this photo on the Web at
the Chimney Safety Institute of America.


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Copyright © 2001 by Marc Kummel /