Wood stove piping issues cause 2 house fires in Sublette County
by Sublette County Unified Fire
February 4, 2020
Sublette County Unified Fire (SCUF) responded to two structure fires in Sublette County, one in Big Piney and one in Boulder within 33 hours.
A garage fire was reported on Feb 2, 2020 at 1:16 AM in a single-story residence in Big Piney. Units from four Battalions across the county responded. There was significant damage to the garage and contents, and the fire progression was halted before extending far into the main portion of the home. While the smoke detectors did activate, the resident’s dog barking woke the sleeping resident even before the smoke detectors activated and the occupant (and dog) were able to evacuate to safety.
A chimney fire was reported on Feb 3, 2020 at 9:53 AM in a two-story single-family dwelling in Boulder. Units from four battalions across the county responded. Responders first on scene reported a working attic fire in progress. Residents were able to evacuate after smelling smoke and hearing the smoke detectors activating. The fire was contained mostly to the area of origin with some extension due to the swift response and aggressive interior attack despite the winter storm. A water shuttle operation was set up to ensure an ample supply of water for firefighting activities. Red Cross was contacted to assist the residents.
In addition to fire units, personnel and equipment from Sublette County Road and Bridge, EMS, Sherriff’s Office, Emergency management, and the applicable utility companies all responded to these incidents. Not enough could ever be said for how well we rely on and all work together during incidents. The winter storm, depth of snow, wind and frigid temperatures added the usual complications (freezing lines, bad road conditions, icy working surfaces) for both incidents.
The causes of these fires are in relation to wood stove piping. SCUF would like to remind Sublette County residents to please remember to have chimneys regularly cleaned and inspected and make sure the chimney is installed according to code. Proper inspections and cleaning by a licensed professional are essential to ensure problems are caught early and won’t catch surrounding combustible materials on fire.
Shad Cooper, Sublette County Unified Fire Chief