Cornwall chimney fire warning issued

Residents are being urged to have their chimneys swept after fire crews attended more than 20 incidents in a month.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said it had dealt with 23 chimney fires across the county between 2 December 2012 and 2 January 2013.

Crews were called out to Looe, Hayle, Bude, Newquay, Falmouth and Saltash.

The service said that regular inspections and cleaning of chimney flues could help prevent fires.

Mark Blatchford, from the service, said: "We are urging anyone who plans to light their fire to get their chimney swept first.

"The cost of a chimney sweep is very small when compared to dealing with the damage and cost of repair from a fire.

"This can clear any blockages and it should identify if there are any problems with the chimney."

He said it appeared more people were using open fires and wood burners because of the rising costs of gas and electricity.

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