Weather Forecast


Chimney fires become area woe

Little Falls firefighters were called to a house fire early Thursday morning in Fort Ripley — the second fire in Crow Wing County the past two days that started in a chimney. 

The fire was reported at 6:40 a.m. at the residence of Rodney Thoe on the 600 block of Oak Drive South. 

Little Falls Fire Chief Mike Nieman said the fire caused moderate damage to the rafters in the attic.. The fire, Nieman said, is believed to have been started by a chimney connected to a wood stove. 

“It’s that time of the season again,” Nieman said. “People have to make sure that they have their chimneys clean and checked out before they fire them up. 

No one was injured in the blaze, Nieman said. A passerby who noticed the smoke pounded on the door to alert Thoe to the fire, Nieman said. 

A total of 26 Little Falls firefighters responded and stayed at the scene for about two hours. 

On Wednesday, Nisswa and Brainerd firefighters responded to Grand View Lodge in Nisswa after creosote from a two-story chimney at the main lodge started roof shakes on fire. 

The U.S. Fire Administration offers the following advice and safety tips for fireplace and stove users: 

• Keep fireplaces and wood stoves clean and inspected annually. Use a screen on the front; use only seasoned hardwood; and never burn cardboard boxes, trash or other debris.

• Outside the home, stack firewood at least 30 feet away from the house. 

• Inside the home install smoke alarms on every level of the home and inside and outside sleeping areas; have working fire extinguishers; provide proper venting equipment for all heating systems; and extend all vent pipes at least 3 feet above the roof.