Stamford fire raises woodstove safety concerns

Sam Halsey says ashes and woodstoves should be placed on noncombustible material, like tiles or slate, to prevent fires.

Sam Halsey says ashes and woodstoves should be placed on noncombustible material, like tiles or slate, to prevent fires. (2/15/16)

STAMFORD - Fire officials say a woodstove may be connected to Sunday night’s house fire on High Ridge Road in Stamford.

Sam Halsey, who has been selling firewood at Yankee Doodle Stove & Fireplace Center in Wilton for over 40 years, says consumers must follow the manufacturer's advice on how far a woodstove should sit from the wall.

"You think ashes are dead but are they really? No! They're often still live embers in there and they can last for a day or two. That's why we do recommend a metal container with a double bottom," says Halsey.

He says ashes and woodstoves should be placed on noncombustible material, like tiles or slate, to prevent fires. Halsey also recommends using a moisture meter to test dryness of the wood being burned.

"Wet wood causes a lot of creo soot to be built up in the chimney and having creo soot - that is flammable - which then can cause a chimney fire," he says. Wood should have a moisture reading below 15 percent.

Halsey says pretreating the wood with anti-creo soot chemicals to prevent buildup is also important, as are regular chimney inspections.

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