Firefighters save house in Breckenridge |

Firefighters save house in Breckenridge

BRECKENRIDGE – Firefighters from the Red, White and Blue Fire Department saved a house Tuesday evening after occupants noticed their woodstove’s chimney pipe was red-hot and called 911.

According to Red, White and Blue public information officer Kim O’Brien, creosote had built up in the upper reaches of the pipe near the chimney cap in a house on the upper end of Moonstone Drive. Creosote, a byproduct of burning, builds up in chimneys and stove pipes and burns at high temperatures when it catches fire.

Firefighters cooled the pipe down and used a thermal imaging camera – an apparatus that can detect heat, even behind furniture and in walls – to ensure the roof and ceiling hadn’t caught fire.

“Even though you clean your fireplaces regularly – and these people did every fall – you might want to consider changing the piping,” O’Brien said. “This chimney pipe was about 20 years old, and while it looked good on the outside, it might not conduct heat as well as it should.”

O’Brien credited the occupants of the house for recognizing the problem and calling 911.

“It didn’t turn into a fire situation, but it easily could have,” she said. “Seeing the woodstove pipe glowing is not a comfortable feeling.”

O’Brien reminds residents to have their fireplaces and woodstoves inspected annually and keep porches and walkways free of snow, firewood and other objects so firefighters can access all areas of the house easily.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or

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