City of Red Wing

Could Your Home Be At Risk?

Friday, February 12 2010 12:00 AM


Thomas Schneider, Fire Chief


On January 20, 2010 the Red Wing Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 3512 Kosec Drive. The cause of the fire was related to an improperly installed wood burning fireplace.

Video on Fox 9 

Concerned that numerous homes may share the same installation hazard, the Red Wing Fire Department, Building Department and home owners, Shelly and Denise Simanski, are encouraging residents to have their wood burning fireplaces inspected.

According to Fire Chief, Tom Schneider, “The installation defect discovered created a fire hazard the day the fireplace was built.  Remarkably, the fireplace was used regularly for 24 years before the hazard caused a fire. Our goal is that by taking a proactive approach to identify similar fireplace installations, we can spare other families the hardship and potential disaster associated with this fire hazard.”

 If your home has a wood burning fireplace that meets the following criteria, it may have the design defect discovered:

  • A wood burning fireplace
  • A chimney on the exterior of the home
  • An ash pit below the fireplace that has a clean-out door

Residents having fireplaces with these characteristics are encouraged to contact Fire Marshal, Andy Speltz (651.385.3694) and schedule a free inspection to determine if their fireplace has a similar installation fire hazard.

The Red Wing Fire Department would also like to take this opportunity to remind residents to test smoke detectors monthly, replace batteries twice each year and to create and practice a home fire escape plan.  

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