Faulty fireplace triggered Tuesday afternoon apartment fire on Ocean Drive
BATON ROUGE - On Tuesday (Dec. 1) afternoon, first responders were called to the scene of an apartment fire off Florida Boulevard, just west of Lobdell Boulevard.
Officials with the Baton Rouge Fire Department (BRFD) report arriving at the Oceans Drive apartment shortly after 12 noon where they found smoke coming from the apartment's roof.
Quickly making their way to the roof, they extinguished the blaze and discovered that it was caused by a malfunction in the apartment home's fireplace.
To completely extinguish the fire, BRFD personnel had to knock out a wall above the fireplace.
No one was injured during the blaze, but the building sustained $1,000 in damages, officials say.
Incidents like this aren't rare; according to the National Fire Data Center, in 2018 alone, issues with home heating sources caused a total of 35,700 residential fires in the U.S.
For this reason, residents of homes that contain fireplaces are encouraged to have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney at least once a year, or after about 80 fires.
It's also recommended that homeowners clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months it's used. Only about an inch of ash is necessary, this is just enough act as insulation and allow coals to heat faster. Experts add that it's best to keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.
Click here for additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on indoor fire/heating safety.