Fireplace blamed for east Tulsa house fire

TULSA - Tulsa firefighters say a a fire in a fireplace burned through the back wall and spread to the attic around 11:00 p.m. Monday.

A family of three was in the home near 21st Street and 145th East Avenue at the time.

The family got out of the house safely, but they were prevented from returning to the home after the fire was out because the wiring was so badly damaged the electricity had to be shut off to the home.

The U.S. Fire Administration has several tips for fireplace safety:

  • Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
  • Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
  • Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Leaving the doors open ensures that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.
  • Close glass doors when the fire is out to keep air from the chimney opening from getting into the room. Most glass fireplace doors have a metal mesh screen which should be closed when the glass doors are open. This mesh screen helps keep embers from getting out of the fireplace area.
  • Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.
  • Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.
  • Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. Otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.
  • Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.
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