Defective fireplace ignites blaze in Sherman home

SHERMAN – Firefighters from several cities responded early Thursday morning to an apartment fire on Hemlock Point Road that they believed was caused by a poorly built fireplace.

The call came as a fire alarm activation in residential areas around 4:25 am. Firefighter Dave Lathrop said residents of the 1,293-square-foot residence on the lake were awakened by the sound of smoke and heat detectors.

The responding firefighters found smoke and fire at the scene and asked New Fairfield, New Milford and Kent for mutual help.

According to Lathrop, there was a heavy fire in the area of ​​a stove that was directly under a fireplace on a separate floor.

“What we found during our investigation was the face of the fireplace that had the fire brick – where you put your fire – cracked and improperly built,” he said.

Lathrop said there was no concrete slab under the fire brick and it was “right on the subfloor below”.

“When it cracked, the heating from the fire for a period of time broke the concrete and the fire spread to the subfloor and the floor joists above the boiler room,” he said.

Lathrop said the fire was quickly put down, but access to the house was challenging due to the property’s long, unploughed driveway.

“It was very icy for us to bring our set down,” he said.

Lathrop said it was important for residents, especially in the lakeside communities, to clear their driveways after a blizzard.

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