No injuries in Christmas day townhome fire
A fire on Christmas day destroyed much of a townhome at 2713 Shenandoah Lane in Plymouth; there were no civilian or firefighter injuries.
Plymouth Fire Department, along with responders from four neighboring departments were called to the two-alarm fire at 11:30 a.m., Dec. 25, 2012.
Within the first 20 minutes of response, firefighters were able to gain control over the fire that involved the exterior wall on the first and second floors of the townhome and extended into the attic space as well as interior portions of the house.
“The house wasn’t completely destroyed,” said Plymouth Fire Chief Richard Kline. “But for all intents and purposes, the tenant is going to be displaced for at least a few weeks before they can rebuild that whole side of the house.”
The home was a single-family unit, and Kline said he believes only one resident was in the building at the time. The displaced resident will stay with relatives in the area until the unit can be repaired.
The Fire Department suspects the fire originated in the chimney, but are unaware whether or not the cause was the flue or the chase of the chimney.
A chase is cover or waterproofing apparatus installed to the top of the chimney.
According to Kline, there was no evidence that the townhome was below fire code or that further preventative measures could have been taken.
Kline said that regular chimney maintenance is crucial, and that conventional fireplaces in general should be avoided for fire safety.
“We recommend that homeowners clean chimneys at least yearly,” Kline said. “The flue and the chase should be cleaned by a professional every year. Generally speaking, that should take care of it.”
Kline continued to say that it’s important to regularly inspect for cracks in the mortar or the material the chimney is made from to prevent fire hazards in the home.