Fire crews tackle chimney blaze at thatched property near Axminster

Firefighters tackling a chimney blaze near Axminster removed a log burner from the property in a bid to access the fire.

Crews from Colyton and Seaton fire stations, along with the aerial ladder platform from Danes Castle, Exeter, were called to a home in Whitford on Tuesday afternoon (February 9), where they found a chimney alight in a thatched property.

Colyton firefighters said chimneys may need to be swept multiple times during the winter.

A Colyton fire station spokesperson said: “During this cold weather we are all going to be using our open fires more than usual.

“Remember, depending on what type of fuel you are using your chimney may need to be swept more than once a year. Smokeless coal is at least once a year, wood up to four times a year and bituminous coal at least twice a year.”

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said crews were called to the property shortly after 4pm.

The spokesperson said: “One fire crew from Colyton, one from Seaton and an aerial ladder platform from Danes Castle were sent to a report of a domestic property with a thatched roof that had a chimney fire.

“On arrival crews confirmed the chimney was indeed on fire and got to extinguishing the fire by removing the log burner for access and then using chimney gear to extinguish the fire.”

The fire service said signs of a chimney fire include hearing a loud roaring noise as more air is sucked in, and flames and sparks ‘shooting like fireworks’ from the chimney top.

It urged anyone with a suspected chimney fire to close the door, alert anyone inside, leave the house, call 999 and stay outside.

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