Chimney Fire Causes Extensive Damage

By WEEK Producer

December 8, 2010 Updated Dec 8, 2010 at 8:08 PM CDT

An East Peoria house fire sends an important message to all homeowners this time of year.

The home's owner received a shocking call while at work early Wednesday afternoon.

An occupant of her house- who authorities say barely speaks English- called Elaine Aguilar to inform her the house was on fire.

Authorities arrived to find flames in the attic and billowing from the chimney at 202 District Court.

East Peoria Assistant Fire Chief, Rick Ward, says the occupant was burning a fire in the fireplace.

"You just gotta make sure they get inspected and they're installed right. A lot of times we find that they're not installed right and they have little gaps in them, the air space around them is not the correct size and it has to be done exactly like it's designed to, or it won't work," said Ward.

Damage is estimated at 40-thousand dollars. No one was hurt.

Ward calls it a "fake" chimney, although it looks like stone, it's made of a metal pipe surrounded by a plywood box.

He says it's likely the chimney wasn't cleaned this season.

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