Greencastle firefighters were dispatched to the home of J. Dale and Alice Covert, 1305 Albin Pond Rd., for a chimney fire that had possibly extended into the attic around 3 p.m. Monday.
Greencastle Assistant Chief Jeff Mace told the BannerGraphic that when the call originally came in, the department was tight on manpower due to another run occurring at the same time.
Earlier, Greencastle had been dispatched to a hazardous materials spill in the Percy L. Julian Science and Mathematics Center.
Because Greencastle was tight on manpower, Mace said he had a Box 651, one of the many box alarms associated with the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS), dropped to bring additional assistance.
This alarm calls for both Cloverdale Township and Fillmore firefighters to respond to the scene while Bainbridge responds to cover Greencastle's station.
Upon their arrival, firefighters discovered the homeowner had two wood stoves, one in the basement and the other on the upper floor, that were connected to one chimney.
The chimney was also connected to the homeowner's oil furnace.
Mace said they thought the fire was in the walls and ceiling of the home, but they later discovered that flue was cracked and damaged enough that the smoke was coming through the chimney into the home.
Because the flue was connected to two stoves, Mace said it took a while to put out the fire.
Firefighters investigated the roof and attic areas of the home searching for fire extensions from the flue. Firefighters were unable to find any extensions.
Mace said the homeowner did advise him that the flue had been cleaned a couple of weeks ago. Mace also said that the flue cracked and caught fire due to several factor, including how much creosote was built up and what type of wood was used.
With the flue being connected to so many heat sources and being heavily damaged, the homeowners will be without heat until the replacement can be installed.