CORNWALL Fire and Rescue service is urging owners of multi fuel stoves to sweep out their chimneys following a series of log burner fires.
Fire crews were called to three chimney fires last night Nov 27in St Austell, Mabe, near Penryn, and Delabole between 5pm and 6pm.
The worst fire was in St Austell, when six firefighters from Bodmin on one appliance and twelve firefighters on two appliances from St Austell attended a call to a house which was full of smoke in Carnsmerry, Bugle, just after 6pm.
An hour earlier, one appliance from Falmouth was mobilised to a fire involving a woodburning stove flue at Gweal Darras Estate, Mabe Burnthouse.
Meanwhile, another appliance was called to an incident at Penhallow Parc in Delabole, when the crew was faced with a “difficult” fire involving a woodburner.
In both cases the fires were extinguished safely.
The latest statistics show that there are over 6,000 chimney fires a year in England.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service attended 216 incidents between 2011 - 2012, where most of these incidents could have been prevented.
A spokesman for CFRS said: “Since the credit crunch, it appears that more people are using open fires and wood burners, because of the rising costs of gas, electricity and oil.
“A recent incident also highlighted the dangers of a blocked central heating flue where an elderly couple suffered from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“This can happen with any fossil fuel system (which includes both the appliance and the flue) if it is faulty or the room is not properly ventilated.
“Most chimney fires are preventable. Regular inspection and cleaning of chimney flues will help prevent fires within chimneys.
“We are urging anyone who plans to light their fire this winter to get it swept first.
“The cost of a chimney sweep is very small, from approximately £30, when compared to dealing with the damage and cost of repair from a fire.”
For chimney fire safety advice, visit: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=7278.
There is also a free advice helpline: 0800 3581 999, and a free home fire safety check is available.