OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Overland Park Fire Department said a fire Sunday night that displaced a family serves as a reminder to get fireplaces and furnaces inspected every year.
Crews were called to a house fire near Switzer Road and W 132nd Terrace at about 7 p.m. On scene, crews saw fire coming from the roof of the two story home.
Fire fighters began attacking the fire and had it under control in about 30 minutes. Two adults and a child were able to get out safely and will be staying with relatives.
“We’re not positive whether it was a malfunctioning chimney or it was just too much creosote buildup that caused a fire there in the chimney,” media manager of the Overland Park Fire Department Jason Rhodes said.
“First and foremost, check your filters,” Owner of Affordable Comfort KC Jeff Bellis said.
Before firing up your heater, Bellis recommends checking the filter.
“If you can’t see through it at all it is def time to change it,” Bellis said.
A dirty filter causes the furnace to overheat, shutting everything down, which could leave you in the cold.
“The furnace isn’t going to fail on the warm days. It’s going to fail on the cold days and that’s when everybody’s furnace is going to fail, so when everybody has a furnace out, then we get super swamped, and we get behind,” Bellis said.
“We can’t get to everyone and that’s the last thing I want, is somebody to have to sleep in the cold because we couldn’t get out there that day.”
Worse than that, a malfunctioning furnace can be a source of carbon monoxide in a home. That’s why Rhodes said having an alarm and a yearly checkup is important.
“Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible, deadly gas, you can’t smell it, you can’t see it,” Rhodes said.
“So, it is really cruicial to get alerted immediately when you have that problem in your house. CO alarms are going to give you that early warning.”
The attic and roof suffered significant damage from the fire, as well as from water and falling debris.
Fire investigators believe the fire started in the fireplace chimney.
The fire department said this type of fire serves as a reminder to get annual inspections.
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