Chimney fire results in $200,000 damage to Minto house

Family displaced after house deemed uninhabitable due to extensive damage

MINTO – Fire officials are reminding residents about the importance of regular chimney and fireplace maintenance after a chimney fire resulted in around $200,000 damage to a local house on the weekend.

Minto firefighters from the Harriston station responded to a report of a chimney fire at a rural residence on 12th Line east of Harriston at around 12:30pm on Jan. 16.

Upon arrival, firefighters found flames venting out some second-storey windows.

All occupants were out of the building by the time firefighters arrived and no injuries were reported, states a press release issued by Minto Fire on Jan. 17.

Palmerston and Clifford Stations were dispatched to the incident and mutual aid from Wellington North Fire Service was provided as well.

“The fire started in the wall of the chimney and travelled into the attic, making it difficult to suppress especially during harsh winter conditions,” states deputy chief Callise Loos in the press release.

Approximately 40 firefighters from five stations battled the blaze.

The 12th Line was closed between Pike Lake Road and Wellington Road 6 for about two hours while firefighters were on scene.

The cause of the fire has been deemed accidental with damage estimated at $200,000.

Loos told the Advertiser the house was not habitable following the blaze and the occupants are staying with family members.

“There were about 60 family members and friends from their community that came to help the family out,” she stated.

Following the incident, Minto Fire issued a reminder about the importance of regular maintenance of chimneys and fireplaces, including the following safety tips:

  • clean your firebox after every fire;
  • keep your chimney maintained;
  • ensure no fuels, such as newspaper, tissues, blankets or kindling, are within one metre of the fireplace;
  • use a fireplace screen;
  • never leave a fire unattended;
  • position logs near the back of the fireplace;
  • install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home;
  • keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

“Unfortunately, one of the leading causes of fire during the cold winter months is the fireplace,” states Loos in the release.

“Please be vigilant and protect your home and family from such threat.”