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Chimney fire displaces 12 people

countyfireFirefighters responded to a reported residential structure fire on Holly Dr. in Victorville at about 10:40 p.m. last night. Neighbors awoke the residents and alerted them smoke was coming from their home.

Eleven firefighters and a chief officer responded within minutes and immediately conducted an interior attack, containing the fire to the attic area of the kitchen and living room of the 2,500 square foot home.

Ten adults, two children and several animals escaped without injury. Damage to the home was estimated at $30,000. San Bernardino County Fire Investigators determined the fire was caused when the chimney flue breached into the chaseway, catching the framing on fire and ultimately burning into the attic. The American Red Cross assisted the displaced family.

This is the third chimney fire in recent days occurring in the High Desert. In this incident, there were no working smoke detectors in the home. Residents are reminded to check the batteries in their smoke detectors.

Zero clearance fireplaces are designed for ambiance and not for heating purposes. Finished lumber and large amounts of wood should not be burned in these types of fireplaces.

San Bernardino County Fire reminds you to have your chimneys inspected and cleaned by a professional before each heating season and have it cleaned regularly. Excessive build-up in flues can ignite or transfer heat into the walls with devastating results. Be sure that you have a fireplace screen in a place large enough to block flying embers and rolling logs from escaping onto your floor. Never burn trash, paper, or green wood in your fireplace. These materials cause a combustible build-up on the lining of your fireplace that may eventually catch fire, possibly damaging the chimney and threatening your home. Make sure that any fireplace fires are completely out before leaving the house or going to bed. For more information on chimney fires and holiday safety tips, please go to www.sbcfire.org.

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