CALEDONIA – A homeowner on McKenzie Road may have helped save her own home Friday night when a fire in her wood stove began to heat up and burn the house around her chimney.
Homeowner Michelle Lemen was alone when she saw fire spreading into her walls and red light coming out of the chimney at about 9:05 p.m.
“My husband was working late so I was home alone when I saw fire between the wall and chimney,” said Lemen. “I saw red light coming out of the top of the chimney and called 911 immediately. When the firemen came I was pouring water on the pieces of burning wood I had pulled out of my stove and put in a wagon. I wanted the fire out of my house!”
Lemen said that Caledonia firefighters, who were the first firefighters on scene, took over from there, carrying the wagon filled with smoking wood from the house and dousing it with water.
Lemen added that the fire was caused by a hatch in the bottom of the wood stove being left open during the controlled burning, allowing more air circulation than normal through the stove and chimney. This fanned the flames until the chimney was hot enough to ignite the house.
Firefighters thoroughly sprayed and inspected the chimney to make sure that it was out and cool.
“I have a bit of a mess from the firemen dumping water down my chimney, but I’ll take that,” said Lemen. “It easily could have been worse if not for the firefighters. At least I still have a house.”
Firefighters with Caledonia, Mumford, LeRoy, Avon, and York responded to the scene alongside Caledonia Ambulance and the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office.