The London Fire Department says a fire started early this morning after a fireplace spontaneously combusted.
Fire crews were called to a home at 425 Wortley Road, between Base Line Road and Commissioners, around 4 a.m. when the homeowners arrived home and smelled smoke.
Platoon Chief Kirk Loveland the fireplace ignited by itself.
“Homeowner came home and their fireplace had spontaneously ignited due to the age of the fireplace and structure. Over time the wood just dries out and then it heats up and it ignited in behind the wall.”
Loveland said they were able to put the blaze out pretty quickly, but they had to tear apart the fireplace and open up the wall to do it. The fire also ignited some joists in the basement, so part of the basement had to be opened up to make sure they completely extinguished the blaze.
While it may sound unusual, Loveland said he’s seen this type of fire before.
“It happens with fireplaces over time. The mortar wears out or there’s a crack and heat from the fire vents through the openings and cracks and then dries out the wood in behind. Over time the wood becomes so dry from the heat it will just ignite.”
No one was injured in the blaze.
Damage is estimated at $10,000, mostly due to water damage and having to take apart the fireplace to extinguish the flames.