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A chimney fire spread and destroyed a one-story, wooden-frame house in the Patterson Community of Caldwell County early Friday morning, according to the Caldwell County Fire Marshal's Office.
Robbie Wilkie, Caldwell County Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator, says the fire was reported just before 4 a.m. at a home on Setzers Creek Road in Lenoir.
The homeowner told Wilkie that he woke up, opened his bedroom door, and saw flames in the walls and ceiling around his woodstove, which was in a re-worked fireplace. After a brief attempt to put the fire out, he escaped out of a back, bedroom window, went to a neighbor's house and called 911, the report states.
The fire started in the chimney, which did not have a flue liner, Wilkie said. "Particularly in older homes, chimneys were built out of brick and mortar with no flue liner," he explained. "Over time, the mortar can crack from heating and cooling, residue will build up and flames can escape through those cracks and ignite any combustible material, like wood, surrounding it. It's very important to make sure that if you use a fireplace and chimney, in any manner, to have a flue liner and clean the chimney regularly."
Damages to the home were estimated at $50,000. Both the home and an SUV were destroyed.
In addition to the Fire Marshal's office, the Patterson Fire Department, Valmead Fire Department and Yadkin Valley Fire Department all responded to the fire.