KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Firefighters say a West Richland fire that destroyed a home probably started in the chimney. Chimney cleaners around our area say regular maintenance is important to keeping your home safe.
Local chimney cleaners tell me that chimneys should be cleaned about once a year, especially if they are used regularly.
They say many times house fires like Tuesday's in West Richland can be avoided if a homeowner pays someone to inspect their chimney. An average size chimney costs about a $100 and only takes cleaners about an hour. Chimney cleaner Dave Lasater says the money is well worth it.
Lasater says, "The way most people explain it to me is that's it's very cheap insurance so they can sleep good at night. Ya know, a lot of people heat with these things and leave them going all night long. So ya know, it's cheap insurance."
Lasater says even if you don't use your chimney regularly, it is still a good idea to have someone come look at it. They say birds can nest or other build-ups can still cause a fire.
This week, the Department of Ecology is asking Washington residents to limit their wood burning for the next couple days because of stagnant air conditions.