Lincoln County 911 Communications Center dispatched the Merrill Fire Department for a report of a chimney fire at 1001 E. 4th St. Initial response from Merrill Fire was Engine 2, Medic 1, Ladder 1 and the Merrill Fire Chief. Upon arrival command was assumed by Engine 2 and reported all occupants had evacuated the building. Prior to evacuating the residence, the owner had closed the damper to the fireplace and the fireplace doors. Command found there were embers coming from the chimney and had Engine 2 personnel enter the residence with SCBA’s and an ABC extinguisher. Engine 2 personnel used the extinguisher to extinguish the contents in the fireplace and the lower part of the chimney. Areas above the fire floor were checked for extension with a thermal imaging camera and reported nothing was found. Due to snow cover on the roof and a steep pitch of the roof, Ladder 1’s aerial was used to gain access to the chimney. Fire crews cleared the chimney of hot embers and creosote.
Interviews were conducted with the homeowner. The homeowner had started the fireplace earlier and some cardboard was placed into the fireplace. After placing the cardboard in the fireplace, they noticed the chimney fire. The owner reported last having his chimney cleaned about two years ago. The owner was advised not to us his fireplace until his chimney is cleaned by a chimney sweep.