Wood burning stoves present potentially deadly risks - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Is your wood burning stove safe for your family?

The community Action Program of Evansville (CAPE) is offering Gibson County residents the opportunity to trade in their old wood burners for a new, EPA certified unit.

Some residents are eager to apply.

"My son's grandpa has one under his house and I know they would probably like one," Ashley Richardson said.
Ashley said as long as she's know her grandmother, she's had a wood burning stove in her home. She says it's been more than thirty years.  

"She still goes out back and gets her wood and brings it up front. She wakes up in the morning and starts a fire and keeps it burning all day long and most of the night," Ashley said.

"Well because it's consistent with the heat, if you know how to keep your wood in it. It's a different type of heat, it's a much cozier, warmer type of heat than the furnace is," Bonnie Richardson said.

Bonnie says she cleans out the ashes every morning and keeps the stove pipes clean.

Princeton Fire Chief Mike Pflug says maintenance like this is key in preventing fires.  

"People need to be cautious when they use their wood burning stoves, make sure they have the latches all closed properly, only open it when you're stoking the fire or adding wood to the fire and make sure your flu pipes are cleaned by a professional company," Pflug said.

A wood burning stove was responsible for a Christmas Eve fire in Princeton. Officials say the units can start fires in a number of different ways. 
 
"The wood burner was not particularly the cause of the fire, but the flu pipe outside the house had debris and things that blew in around the flu pipe and the heat from that pipe actually caught that stuff on fire and it spread up along side the house," Pflug said.

Wood burning stoves made before 1988 are not EPA certified but Bonnie says she wouldn't trade hers for the world.

"Oh no, I love that stove," Bonnie said.  

To qualify for a new unit from CAPE, you must live in Gibson County and must have Win Energy. 

To apply, call the CAPE office at 812-492-3925 or visit their website here.

 

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