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Ash box lid unmoored -- safety problem?

Posted by sheckylovejoy (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 12, 12 at 11:02

We just moved into a new place (40s or 50s Southern California construction) with a combo gas-wood fireplace. We had our first fire, but when I went to clean it out, the cement that was holding the lid to the ash box down to the floor of the fireplace crumbled away. Now there is a gap which embers can fall through. Is this something I shouldn't be concerned about or should I not light another fire until this is taken care of.

Related question: should I leave the door open to allow fresh air in from the outside when the fire is lit? We have endirons and also, since this is Southern California, heating is not the issue.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ash box lid unmoored -- safety problem?

I'm not sure I'm picturing this correctly, but if embers are falling down into the chimney below the fireplace, the danger is small as long as the cleanout door in the basement is tightly closed. If it is not, you certainly don't want live embers spilling out onto the basement floor.

On the other hand, crumbling mortar in the firebox may indicate other problems such as water entering the chimney, a loose damper, etc. It would probably be worth while to have this checked by a mason or chimney sweep, if there are any of the latter in S. CA.

RE: Ash box lid unmoored -- safety problem?

Thanks for the tips. I keep the door shut tightly as you say. It's is all new to me, I'm just used to the brick floor.

Thanks again.

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