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  1. #1
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Welcome to KT's Smokehouse

    Before I relay the following (LONG) story...keep in mind I've lived in Florida all my life. I'm not horribly experienced with fireplaces.


    So I ride the bike home from work last night in slush (mixed snow/rain). I'm cold and wet and as I'm parking the bike in the garage, I think....."a nice time to test out this fireplace". The house I'm in has a fireplace, but I haven't made a fire in it yet. I grab a little wood and head in.

    I'm not that familiar with fireplaces, but I'm not completely ignorant. I knew you had to open that chimney hole cover thingy (flu? damper?). I look up in top of fireplace and see a lever that opens it if I pull it toward me. I noticed a hole drilled in the bottom of this metal lever. I figure its designed to hook the lever on something. I feel around and for the life of me can't find anything to hook it on.

    So I manage to wedge it on a little brick ledge there. It seems wedged pretty good, so I didn't think there would be a problem with it staying there. I get to work building a fire. I find its also the perfect way to get rid of mail that I wanted to shred. I manage to get a small but respectable fire going.

    Now I'm sitting on the couch a few feet away talking to my girlfriend on the phone for about 10-15 minutes when I suddenly notice the smoke is coming out of the fireplace and not going up. I run over and check and sure enough the lever came loose and closed the cover thingy.

    Well there's no way I can get my hand up there to open it and wedge it again as now the flames are close enough to the lever height that I'll burn my arm and I know the lever will be hot. I grab a fire extinguisher as smoke is now getting kinda thick in the living room. I put the fire out, but it keeps smoking.

    I start opening windows to try get smoke out (did I mention rain/snow?). As I'm doing this I'm realizing the reason the fireplace is still billowing out smoke as the fire is still smoldering at bottom. I grab a few bowls full of water to put the fire out. I think its out, but now the main part of the house is so filled with smoke we (me and the dogs) need to get out of the house.

    So I pack them into truck and "go for a drive". However, the snow picked back up and now its pretty snow covered. Again, I'm from Florida and not used to driving in snow, so I realize very quickly its probably better if I don't drive around too much in it. I stop in a parking lot, grab dinner now at a fast food joint (would have done sit down, but didn't want to leave dogs alone in cold truck). We wait and hour, and go back.

    Now it looks mostly clear. I try to fan out any remaining smoke, but leave the windows open for a while. I'm watching some TV and "just" decide to close that living room window (as I'm starting to feel the draft). A minute or so after I do, I realize that there is smoke coming out of fireplace again. I see a deep red area (about size of baseball) and realize there was still a smoldering spot. I run to grab a bowl of water and by time I got back it was a flame again. I put that out and relaxed for a bit again.

    Before I went to bed, I got a poker and spread all the wood in there around so it wasn't touching each other and allowed any smoldering spots. Then used a few more bowls of water to make sure each piece was well doused. Blocked off living room so dogs couldn't sleep in there and die of smoke inhalation in case it somehow started up again.

    What a freakin' night last night was. Welcome to KT's Smokehouse. Place your order at the door.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  2. #2
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    In case you're wondering just how thick the smoke got......of course it rose to the ceiling and it was a thick wall from ceiling about 4-5 feet down. I couldn't see the other side of the room at that point.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  3. #3
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    You might wanna have that flue damper looked at by a professional. Mine stays in any position that I set it at without moving. It should not be a simple OPEN/CLOSED arrangement I do not think. Seems that you would want to be able to adjust how much the chimney draws to optimize your fire.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  4. #4
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    yOU
    white meat or dark?
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  5. #5
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    piece of paper + match = flue test or at least that's the easy way

    Hope the smoke smell goes away quickly and there's not too much soot on everything.
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
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  6. #6
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Didn't your smoke alarm go off?

    I'm surprised the neighbours didn't call the fire department!

    Did you happen to have a salmon or two just laying around?

    East Hill
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  7. #7
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
    white meat or dark?
    white please. i really do not like dark meat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  8. #8
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    piece of paper + match = flue test or at least that's the easy way

    Hope the smoke smell goes away quickly and there's not too much soot on everything.
    I did the flu test....as I said it was fine for about 15 minutes or so. Then the flu slipped and closed.

    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
    Didn't your smoke alarm go off?

    I'm surprised the neighbours didn't call the fire department!

    Did you happen to have a salmon or two just laying around?

    East Hill
    Yes, alarm went off. But its one of the cheap batter operated ones, so I pulled battery out.

    Thankfully smoke wasn't billowing out the windows quite heavily enough to alarm the neighbors. And yes, there was quite a bit of soot on many things on that side of the house. Lucky my TV didn't get sooted too hard as it's just to left of the fireplace.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  9. #9
    Riding Heaven's Highways on the grand tour ModoVincere's Avatar
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    umm...smoked meat...I'll take an order of ribs and a side of brunswick stew.
    How much is that?
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  10. #10
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Brisket for me please... And a Marlboro.

  11. #11
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    umm...smoked meat...I'll take an order of ribs and a side of brunswick stew.
    How much is that?
    $17.95 for the ribs...though I warn you, my ribs a pretty fatty.

    Did you want a cup or bowl of the brunswick stew?
    Cup $2.95, Bowl $4.50

    Garlic toast comes free with the meal.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  12. #12
    Riding Heaven's Highways on the grand tour ModoVincere's Avatar
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    um...ok..cup. Can I get fries instead of toast?
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  13. #13
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
    I did the flu test....as I said it was fine for about 15 minutes or so. Then the flu slipped and closed.


    Yes, alarm went off. But its one of the cheap batter operated ones, so I pulled battery out.

    Thankfully smoke wasn't billowing out the windows quite heavily enough to alarm the neighbors. And yes, there was quite a bit of soot on many things on that side of the house. Lucky my TV didn't get sooted too hard as it's just to left of the fireplace.
    what kind of batter where you using? I like waffle batter, but it tends to drip, so I now just use cookie batter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    I experienced a smoke filled apartment last March, much as you described. But in this case it wasn't me playing with fire, it was the maintenance man setting my refrigerator on fire. You've probably got a fine layer of soot on everything. I had to have my sofa steam-cleaned.

    Oh, and do you serve some sort of appetizer? Some queso or maybe some cheese sticks?

  15. #15
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
    I experienced a smoke filled apartment last March, much as you described. But in this case it wasn't me playing with fire, it was the maintenance man setting my refrigerator on fire. You've probably got a fine layer of soot on everything. I had to have my sofa steam-cleaned.
    Yes, there was a fine layer of soot on many things. I'll be cleaning better today. Luckily my sofa and love seat are leather.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  16. #16
    Beauty Everywhere snowy's Avatar
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    LOL this is funny. Sorry KT!!!
    "RIDE FAST TAKE CHANCES!"

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  17. #17
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowy View Post
    LOL this is funny. Sorry KT!!!
    If I wasn't laughing so hard, I'd probably cry. LOL

    It really wasn't that bad as in dangerous or anything....so I can't help but laugh at the whole situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
    Before I relay the following (LONG) story...keep in mind I've lived in Florida all my life. I'm not horribly experienced with fireplaces.
    ....
    I'm not that familiar with fireplaces, but I'm not completely ignorant. I knew you had to open that chimney hole cover thingy (flu? damper?). I look up in top of fireplace and see a lever that opens it if I pull it toward me. I noticed a hole drilled in the bottom of this metal lever. I figure its designed to hook the lever on something. I feel around and for the life of me can't find anything to hook it on.
    Fair sized hole? Like a bit under 1/2 inch? If so that is NOT to hook to anything. It is so you can 'grab' it with a fireplace poker.

    Also in general it is pulling the lever toward you that CLOSES the damper, which if you think about it makes sense. If pulling it toward you opened the damper then in hte open position the lever is out in hte middle of things and able to get hit. If instead pushing it back, as in back flush with the back of the fireplace it is out of the way and can not get bumped into the wrong position.

    If in doube I check by sticking a fireplace poker up the chimney.

  19. #19
    Beauty Everywhere snowy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
    If I wasn't laughing so hard, I'd probably cry. LOL

    It really wasn't that bad as in dangerous or anything....so I can't help but laugh at the whole situation.
    Gotta love moments like these!
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  20. #20
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
    If I wasn't laughing so hard, I'd probably cry. LOL

    It really wasn't that bad as in dangerous or anything....so I can't help but laugh at the whole situation.
    I couldn't help but insert the Benny Hill theme song into the sped-up mental image of you running around trying to put the fire out and clear away the smoke.

  21. #21
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    mmmm smoked termite.

    I think that you need to get a professional to check the damper mechanism to make sure that it works properly.

    Good luck getting rid of the smoke smell from your house.
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  22. #22
    Riding Heaven's Highways on the grand tour ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x136 View Post
    I couldn't help but insert the Benny Hill theme song into the sped-up mental image of you running around trying to put the fire out and clear away the smoke.
    any of the Benny Hill cast running around skimpily clad chasing him?
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  23. #23
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Yes. KT's dogs were dressed as French maids.

  24. #24
    Blasted Weeds Tude's Avatar
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    Poor KT You're not the first person I've "talked" to who decided to test out that fireplace and have mixed results.


    We lived in the house that just sold in Sept for 22-24 yrs - and never once did the house across the street (a converted single and a rental - and the downstairs apt has a fireplace) ever have the fireplace/chimney cleaned out.

    And about 2.5 yrs ago this family of hillbillys moved in (really - guy drives a pick up with homemade cap on the back end - has "redneck" stickers all over the truck and a confederate flag hanging up behind driver) - and they used the fireplace, but with the greenest garbage wood ---- old willow tree was taken down at a house down the street ---- YEEE-HAWWW they gots some firewood. And that's what they've been burning --- green wood from all the garbage treest that fall in the city neighborhood. And boy it stinks.

    Well this past year we noticed sparks/glow coming out of the chimney -- he'll be having a fire/big smoke pot pretty soon. Oh yes, and we did the civil thing and brought the sparks to his attention and he shrugged it off.

  25. #25
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    If an initial flue check was OK, then the issue seems to be with higher heat and larger volumes of smoke. You should call your landlord and have him get a sweep done on the chimney. Could be clogged up inside. Start by checking that the cap isn't partially blocked with leaves.
    Sorry 'bout you and the pups getting smoked out of the place. I did that to myself with the self-cleaning feature on the oven last year. Something in the bottom of the oven decided to catch a nice smokey fire when I set the oven on "incinerate". Naturally, it was low 30s and raining outside when I needed to open all the windows.
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