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My first home, 36 years old, burned. The fire started in the attic a

above the heatalator. What happened?


I have heard of fires occurring because the joist between the Heatilator throat area and the chimney flue liner was not properly sealed. Also, if the Heatilator vents are blocked the firebox can overheat. Clearance to combustibles can also be a problem. The fire may have started at or near the fireplace and traveled up into the attic.

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Only the fire investigators can determine the actual cause, especially in an attic fire.

On a separate note, my brothers house burned two weeks ago. The house was over 40 years old and had two DYI additions. The fire started in the attic above one of the additions. Investigators determined faulty wiring caused the fire.

Ironic, the previous owner who did the additions was an electrician, and my brother is the fire chief in that city.

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Was this a steelform masonry fireplace or a factory built fireplace listed to UL 127? Heatilator made their Mark C steelform up until 1987. They still make their UL 127 woodburners, which have a chimney listed to withstand a 1,700F chimney fire.

A slight drift in the thread: What's your opinion about the near ubiquitous problem of vertical cracking in the back of Heatilator steelforms? I've seen welded repairs that have re-cracked along the edge of the weld. Are these things toast once they're cracked?

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  • 3 weeks later...

The steel has failed and undergone a change. It is no longer the same steel it was made out of. Therefore, it should be replaced rather than repaired. I got into some heated arguments with the factory who was advocating welding on site. The codes accept these steel fireboxes only when intact and installed to the mfrs instructions.

The breast on steelform fireplaces almost always warp and buckle. There is no acceptable repair.

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