The Laramie Fire Department responded to two residential structure fires in the last two days, both stemming from issues with a wood-burning stove.
After investigation, LFD determined the first fire was caused by improperly contained ashes from a wood stove. The second fire was also determined to have been caused by the wood stove inside the home.
“LFD would like to remind citizens to please be diligent with wood-burning stoves and also when removing hot ashes,” a Tuesday news release cautions.
The first fire occurred at around 4:45 a.m. Monday morning.
LFD issued a full response to Mitchell Street in northern Laramie for reports of a fully involved structure fire, according to a Monday LFD news release.
First to the scene was Ladder No. 5 from Laramie Fire Station No. 2, who found “heavy smoke and flames coming from the back of the home.” Additionally, the news release reports the exterior of the residence and the deck were “heavily involved with fire.”
All occupants were able to safely evacuate the home and were accounted for. No injuries were reported.
After the exterior flames were extinguished by LFD crews, the responders moved inside the house to check for fire extension.
Full control of the structure was returned to the owner by 7:30 a.m. the same morning, according to the news release.
Three engines, one ladder truck, two ambulances and one command unit from LFD were dispatched to the scene.
Additionally, three officers with the Laramie Police Department responded.
A very similar call was received at around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
LFD responded to a call reporting smoke and flames billowing from the roof of a mobile home on McCue Street, according to an LFD news release issued Tuesday morning.
First on the scene, LFD Engine No. 3 confirmed “heavy smoke and flames were issuing from around the wood stove chimney,” the news release said.
The fire spread into the attic and caused heavy damage to the residence. However, all occupants, including pets, got out of the building safely and no injuries were reported.
In addition to Engine No. 3, the full response included LFD Engine No. 7, Ladder No. 5, Truck No. 2 and two Emergency Medical Service ambulance crews, Unit 46 MS 144 and MS 143.
A total of 12 firefighters worked to extinguish the fire and prevent it from spreading to neighboring homes, according to the news release.
In addition to LFD personnel, members of the Laramie Police Department, deputies from Albany County Sheriff’s Office and personnel from Black Hills Energy and Rocky Mountain Power also assisted on scene.
To avoid potential wood stove fires, the National Fire Protection Association recommends having a qualified professional install wood-burning stoves, chimneys and chimney connectors.
Chimney sweeps should inspect and sweep every fall, just before the heating season starts, to keep chimney and stove clean and clear.
Additionally, the NFPA encourages burning only dry, seasoned wood or pellets and keeping flammable objects at least three feet away from the heat source.
Not limited to those with wood stoves, the NFPA recommends installing and frequently maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, ensuring they work properly and have fully charged batteries.