Firefighters battle Sidmouth chimney blaze

FIREFIGHTERS battled a Sidmouth chimney blaze to ensure homeowners didn’t suffer festive heartache less than two days before Christmas.

A crew from the town raced to a property in Bickwell Valley at around 8.45pm last Thursday, December 22.

On arrival, watch commander Sean Faulkner called for a second fire engine to attend the scene as the chimney was “smoking excessively”.

Another crew duly arrived from Sidmouth.

Firefighters used chimney gear, a 105 ladder, a roof ladder and safety at height equipment to tackle the blaze.

The crews extinguished the fire and revisited the property at 1am on Friday to make sure everything was safe.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service bosses have warned of the dangers of fire-place or wood-burning stove related blazes – especially at this time of year.

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They have issued general advice to residents, encouraging them to ensure chimneys are clean, safe and swept regularly.

Mike Burroughs, a fire investigation officer, said: “Chimney fires can cause serious structural damage to a home, with the risks being even greater if the property has a thatched roof. The damage is not only fire based but also the dirt and smell left from all the soot and smoke, which would affect a property.”