A Thursday night fire in a chimney flue brought firefighters from six departments to 1705 Notre Dame Drive in Terre Du Lac, and sent one firefighter to the hospital with a broken foot.
Jonathan Moore, chief of Terre Du Lac Fire Department (TDLFD), said the fire wasn’t big, but it was complicated. The house was recently purchased and was in the process of being renovated by the new homeowners, who were present at the time of the fire.
He said the structure of the flue on the 1970s, 1,500 square-foot house had a series of layers the firefighters had to break through to reach the flames.
“The insert of the chimney had burned through, which had compromised the concrete which, for whatever reason on the house, was surrounded by wood, and then there was brick with insulation, then brick facade,” Moore said. “It was weird, we were all looking at each other wondering, why did they build it like that. Usually, there’s just the insert, then some type of brick or concrete, then insulation, then facade. Usually there aren’t that many layers.”
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Moore said many of the responders wondered whether the fireplace had been remodeled over the years.
The fire had spread into the ceiling surrounding the chimney, requiring efforts to break into the walls of the living room near the fireplace and chimney.
A Leadington firefighter was standing on a ladder in the living room, about 10 feet off the ground, trying to break into the wall, but lost his balance and fell, breaking his foot, Moore said. The firefighter was taken to Parkland Health Center-North for treatment. Moore said he appeared to be doing well, otherwise.
TDLFD was first on the scene about 7 p.m., with Big River, Leadwood, Leadington, Park Hills and Farmington fire departments assisting over the course of the next four to five hours. Moore said the damage was contained to the chimney area. The rest of the house was saved.