A week ago, I stepped outside of our cabin in Wrightwood to see a huge glow of fire coming from the house across the street. I let out a great shout, “hey!!!!” Hoping my neighbor could hear me. I stopped for a minute, embarrassed, thinking that it was just a BBQ on the balcony. Upon realizing it wasn’t, I decide to walk over to the house and see what was really going on. As I approached the house, I was meet by a man out for his regular evening walk, who had come over because he could see the same thing from a few streets away. So, we both stood at the fence and began yelling, but no one came out. What we saw from the road was the chimney on fire. We could see actual flames coming out the top of the chimney a foot or two high at times, and embers starting fly in the air.
Profoundly grateful I was not alone, I opened the gate and went up the steps, once there I could see the couple that lives there through a large glass window. We were still yelling, but they could not hear us, then I started waving my arms, basically freaking out at this point! Luckily the homeowners saw me. As soon as the homeowner got outside, I did not have to say anything. He exclaimed, “that is not right,” and grabbed a hose. I could hear the water splashing for a good long time as he made sure it was all out. Later that evening, my neighbor must have seen me in my yard because I heard a heartfelt thank you from across the street.
But here is the thing, neither my neighbor nor myself had our fireplaces professionally cleaned out because the weather turned cold so fast, we needed heat.
The next day he came over with a dozen long stem Roses with a card from he and his wife that said. “No fireplace till chimney sweep comes!!!! glad to have you as a neighbor!”
We had just moved in earlier this year. The first time our neighbor came over was in March to help me get my car out of the snow. He could hear me spinning the wheels of my car with no avail, so he came over and put a tarp down for traction, and pushed me out of my driveway.
The moral of the story is to call your local chimney sweeper before starting your fireplace this winter! And fabulous neighbors are priceless.
Also, thank you to the neighbor that walked over to help; we all appreciated it. We help each other up here in the mountains. It can obviously be treacherous.