Fire chiefs’ warning after chimney blaze

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FIREFIGHTERS have issued a chimney cleaning warning after an elderly woman had a lucky escape from a farmhouse blaze in Wigan.

Crews were called to Black Horse Farm on Arbour Lane, Shevington Moor at around 1.25pm on Saturday to find the full length of the detached farmhouse’s chimney stack well alight.

One fire engine from Wigan station attended the incident and the crew spent around two hours at the scene, using special nozzles attached to the top and bottom of the chimney to direct water at the flames.

The female resident managed to get herself out of the property safely and did not suffer any injuries.

The loft and upstairs bedrooms of the farmhouse suffered smoke damage, while fire damage was confined to the chimney itself.

The cause of the incident was attributed to soot particles collecting within the chimney and igniting.

Fire chiefs are now warning Wiganers to ensure chimneys are maintained properly to decrease the risk of fire.

Crew Commander Mike Fairhurst said: “The lady was not in any danger at all in this incident but sometimes the chimney can be damaged on the inside over a period of time, so the chimney will need to be inspected to find out if any repair work needs to be done.

“It was quite a tricky operation as the location of the fire was difficult to access.

“We are seeing more people now choosing to have open fires and wood-burning stoves and they need to make sure they get regular maintenance.

“Stoves in particular keep a lot of particles which are given off and also produce a lot of resin from the wood which is being burnt, which then gets stuck in the chimney, and if they are not swept regularly there can be a big build-up in chimneys.

“Our advice is that people should not use their chimney or stove until it has been thoroughly checked out if they are looking at or buying a property which has one, and regular maintenance is crucial.”