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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Succasunna NJ
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    574

    Default Missing fireblocking the cause?

    There has been much discussion about fire-blocking, particularly around the chimney. Reading the 5th paragraph down, I wonder if missing fire-blocking was the cause for the spreading up to the second floor so (I'm assuming) quickly.


    Firefighter hurt battling Sparta house fire | Daily Record | dailyrecord.com

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    Last edited by Darren Miller; 02-10-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Philadelphia PA
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    Default Re: Missing fireglocking the cause?

    Oh. .. fire blocking. I thought this was going to be about guns.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Missing fireblocking the cause?

    It looks like an older home, judging by that kitchen window. No streetview for that neck of the woods, so I can't check the place out, shucks.
    I wonder if a smoke alarm was in working condition in the basement? Hopefully they have insurance.

    Yes, I mention a lack of fireblocking if I'm aware of it, but wonder about the lack of it sometimes, and whether anyone ever bothers to remedy the situation after buying the place.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South-West Michigan
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    469

    Post Re: Missing fireglocking the cause?

    According to the article, the fire spread up the chimney chase. That would be pretty typical in a house that age. The chimney chase is usually not sealed in these homes. It's a good excuse to bring some 5/8 inch drywall home from the lumber yard.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Missing fireblocking the cause?

    Here's a view down from the attic, 100+ year old wood frame house. Was the home of the local Fire Chief back in the 30's. Oil furnace and oil tank in the cellar, antique coal burning insert in the fireplace. There was one smoke detector, see pic 2. Like I say, I wonder if they will bother to upgrade.

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    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Southeastern Virginia
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Missing fireglocking the cause?

    Without seeing any photos or having any knowledge about the home, it would be pretty difficult to know if any fire blocking was present; and to what degree it effected the spread of the fire.
    A couple of interesting or out of the ordinary things to consider besides the fire blocking issue:
    The article states “Weinzetl followed the smell to the furnace room on the ground floor where he found the room on fire as he opened the door, Beebe said”. By opening the door, the owner unknowingly just greatly accelerated the speed the fire would spread.
    The article also states “Weinzetl attempted to put the fire out but the flames were already inside the walls and had rushed up the chimney line and into the second floor, Beebe said.” If the owner of the home attempted to fight the fire, how long was it until someone called the fire department. Another thing to consider, the person making the comments in the article was a police officer not a fire department represenatitve.

    Jamie R Wilks
    Virginia Certified Home Inspector

  7. #7
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing fireblocking the cause?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Here's a view down from the attic, 100+ year old wood frame house. Was the home of the local Fire Chief back in the 30's. Oil furnace and oil tank in the cellar, antique coal burning insert in the fireplace. There was one smoke detector, see pic 2. Like I say, I wonder if they will bother to upgrade.
    In picture #1....wouldn't 16" of unfaced fiberglass batt insulation across the top of the opening meet the code for fireblocking? I saw where some said you need 5/8" drywall.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Michigan
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    249

    Default Re: Missing fireblocking the cause?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    In picture #1....wouldn't 16" of unfaced fiberglass batt insulation across the top of the opening meet the code for fireblocking? I saw where some said you need 5/8" drywall.
    Fiberglass would possibly work, if it can be properly attached...

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

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