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Chimney fire damages house near Fuquay-Varina

Posted December 15, 2013

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— A fire early Sunday caused more than $100,000 in damage to a home near Fuquay-Varina after flames traveled through the chimney and into the walls and attic.

Fuquay-Varina firefighters responded shortly before 6:15 a.m. to the fire, at 5230 Turning Branch Lane in Raleigh, after a couple awoke to smoke in their house.

Investigators said they believe the fire started around the fire place, where the residents had used Saturday night.

After attempting to air out the house, one of the occupants went to the basement and saw fire coming from the walls and called 911, authorities said.

The fire traveled up the chimney to the attic. Firefighters knocked down the chimney to prevent the fire from spreading.

Three people were home at the time, but no one was hurt. Investigators are still working to determine what caused the fire.

According to the American Red Cross, there were five house and apartment fires within a 24-hour period over the weekend in Wayne, Lenoir and Pitt counties in which 12 families – 26 adults and 20 children – were displaced.

Raleigh Fire Division Chief Ronny Mizell said Sunday that expects call volume for structure fires to more than double in the winter months, especially around Christmas time.

"I would encourage everybody, before the winter season hits and before they start using their fireplaces, to have their fireplaces cleaned and thoroughly inspected," Mizell said. "And I would do it every year."

Mizell said when it comes to Christmas, be sure to get a fresh tree, keep it watered and only use approved holiday lights. He also said avoid overloading electrical receptacles.

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  • sunshine1040 Dec 16, 2013

    Just a reminder get your chimney cleaned and inspected each year before lighting. Do not know why the fire department does not mention it when they remind you to change batteries in smoke detecters any more.