Alleged chimney scam sweeps through area

Three men are facing charges in connection with a dangerous chimney sweep scam that targeted homes in southwestern Connecticut.

Darien police say the men, who worked for Complete Chimneys out of Hicksville, New York, installed a new liner in a Darien woman?s chimney. A neighbor alerted the homeowner, Jeanine Bortel, that the same company had scammed others.

Bortel contacted police and after an inspection found out the job was done incorrectly. Police say incorrectly installed chimney parts can let carbon monoxide leak into homes.

"First of all, I'm shocked that someone would do this and obviously it's very upsetting that he endangered us. If my neighbor hadn't called, there could have possibly been poisoning from carbon monoxide,? Bortel said.

Police arrested Luigi Masiello, a foreman for the company, along with two of his fellow employees.

When hiring a chimney sweep company, Darien police recommend checking to see if the company is registered with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, getting references from other customers and sticking with local companies.

Patrick Balducci, of a local chimney sweep company, says if a price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Related Information:CT Dept. Consumer Protection - 860-713-6300

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