New Castle News

Police Reports

October 31, 2012

Fire blamed on creosote build-up

NEW CASTLE — Creosote built up in the chimney of an Amish house is being blamed for a fire in Wilmington Township.

Volunteer departments from New Wilmington, Volant, Neshannock and Pulaski were called to the home of Urie Byler on Yoder Road Monday.

New Wilmington Fire Chief Dick Wilson said the call came about 5:45 p.m. and crews were on the scene for about 90 minutes.

“The fire was confined to the chimney,” Wilson said.

Some Amish housewives burn in their chimney year round to heat water, he explained. This causes creosote to build up.

“Then, when it gets cold, they make a big fire for heat and the built-up creosote, which is like a coal dust, burns.”

Wilson estimated damages at $2,000 to $4,000.

Although firefighters did not remain at the Byler home long, Wilson said, “it was awhile before we got home.”

On the way back, he said, firefighters were called to Route 956 to cut up a tree that had fallen near the Mennonite church. A third call, to check an automatic fire alarm, kept them out longer.

“We had a busy night,” he said, “but it could have been worse had that storm hit as we anticipated.”

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