Firefighter credits homeowner for quick action in containing flue fire at rural Trenton home

Fire Truck

Grundy County rural firefighters were dispatched Monday night to a reported structure fire west of Trenton. Upon arrival, it was discovered that a chimney fire was in progress at the residence of Ed and Pam Johnston at 398 Southwest Elm Lane of rural Trenton.

Firefighters observed light smoke with smoldering embers inside the living room wall by the fireplace, they then used water can extinguisher to put out the fire. A reciprocating saw was used to remove charred lumber to check for any additional fire.

The homeowner had used a fire extinguisher to contain the fire until firefighters arrived. Firefighter Derek Hert says this shows the importance of owning a fire extinguisher and being familiar with its proper use. Hert credited the homeowner’s quick actions in order to prevent the damage from being more severe.

As for the cause, it was determined a cracked flue pipe allowed heat from the woodstove to overheat the wood and insulation until it began to smolder and eventually catch fire.  The report described the damage as moderate to one interior and exterior wall at the Johnston home. No other damages occurred.

Grundy County rural was at the scene for one hour after 8:30 pm Monday night. Assistance was provided by the Trenton Fire Department and Grundy County Ambulance.