And likely not last; officials recommend cleaning at least every year
BEND, Ore (KTVZ) -- For 29 years, Jim Brown has climbed up on top of houses.
And cleaned the chimney.
"There's lots of times where I'm cleaning a chimney out in an area with views that you won't see anywhere else," Brown told NewsChannel21 on Wednesday.
Brown is the owner of Brown's Chimney and Air Duct Cleaning Service, and he gets pretty busy this time of year.
"You don't want a fire inside your chimney,” he said. “You want it in your (wood) stove or your fireplace, but not in your chimney.”
Earlier this week, Bend Fire and Rescue responded to its 10th chimney fire this year, but it's the first since last winter.
Battalion Chief Trish Connolly said those fires can be troublesome.
"What happens is that often when they extend, they extend into people's attic space,” Connolly said. “And when a fire extends into people's attic space, it can be a really difficult fire for us to put out." Likely meaning more damage must happen, to make sure it's out.
From 2017 through last year, Bend Fire has responded to about 15 chimney fires each year.
That's why Connolly recommends people hire someone like Brown to come clean out their chimney at least once a year.
"Just because of creosote, which is a byproduct of burning wood,” Brown said. “And creosote is flammable."
Not everyone has the means to hire a chimney sweep, but Brown said plenty of people take matters into their own hands.
"They can buy their own brushes and rods,” he said. “Usually at the local hardware stores. They sell them especially this time of year."
But not everyone is brave enough to climb on their roof to clean out their chimney, or to risk another common mistake.
"They're worried about getting their chimney brush or something stuck in the chimney, which happens all the time,” Brown said.