Case Study 3 - Thatched Roof Chimney Fire

Here we have a worryingly common case where an oversized stove using wet wood caused a chimney fire, only the quick response of the Essex fire brigade saved this Essex cottage. There were a number of problems found with the original chimney installation that contributed to the dangers faced by the occupiers.

The stove was oversized for the room which meant it constantly burnt at low level output, because the fire never reached the temperature needed to burn cleanly and efficiently it caused the chimney to become almost completely blocked with tar. The installation didn't allow an adequate sweeping access for the complete sweeping of the flue and the chimney terminated too low. It is necessary for chimneys to terminate at least 1.8 meters above the thatch.

The un-insulated flexible liner gave no heat protection to the surrounding brickwork and thatch that can ignite at 180 degrees Celsius, the inside of this flue would have been reaching 1000 degree Celsius during the chimney fire. You can see where sections of the liner got so hot that liquids penetrated and solidified on the exterior of the stainless steel.

So our mission was to reline the chimney, to allow for every scenario, using an insulated stainless steel chimney system which has been tested to prove safe distances from combustible materials even in the event of a chimney fire. The brick structure was built up using reclaimed bricks and lime mortar to an original design to compliment the grade 2 listing status and necessary modern regulations.

To ensure efficient burning in the future, a sensibly sized quality Clearview Vision 500 stove was installed allowing for complete cleaning of the flue. The occupiers were then given the infamous ‘Scarlett’ lesson on the safe and efficient use of their new stove.