Potten End chimney fire sparks safety warning as winter approaches


Firefighters are issuing advice to people who have chimney fires at this time of year after taking more than an hour to put one of them out yesterday.

They were called to a home in Vicarage Road, Potten End, just before 9pm after a blaze burned out of control and its owners could not put it out.

Two crews from Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead sprayed water up the chimney to extinguish the out-of-reach flames, and eventually put them out by just after 10pm.

There was no damage to the rest of the house.

But Herts Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Gemma McKelvey said great care must be taken to keep chimneys clean if people are using them to keep their home warm.

Some tips for using open fires safely:

- Always use a fire guard

- Do not put clothes or other materials on the guard or close to the fire

- Use firelighters; never use flammable liquids to start a fire

- Always make sure a fire is completely out before you leave the house or go to bed

For a free home fire safety, phone 0300 123 4046.