Family startled after firefighters respond to home for flames from chimney

Posted at 4:50 PM, Dec 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-24 18:50:19-05

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    Vancouver, WA (KPTV) — A scary situation for a Vancouver family Sunday: they’re thanking the community after people nearby alerted them to a fire in their chimney, all while they were inside and had no idea.

Jessica Schrader told FOX 12 she was inside the house unwrapping Christmas gifts with her grandchildren when all of a sudden, Vancouver firefighters were knocking on their door.

In home surveillance video, firefighters can be seen telling them they have a fire.

Schrader said they were completely caught off guard and had no idea flames were coming out of their chimney.

“My husband’s usually a pretty big stickler on making sure no garbage no junk mail any of that stuff but not the best judgment today decided against that and threw a few things in there wrapping paper wise and it was enough to really apparently caused a pretty big fire up there,” Schrader said.

Schrader works at Peace Health Southwest medical center a block away from them and was told it was someone at the hospital who saw the fire.

“They said that patients from the ICU floors the 4th and 5th floor of the tower could see the flames from our chimney and they’re the ones that actually called 911,” Schrader told FOX 12.

The family took over fudge and a card to the hospital to thank who called in the fire.

The Washington State Department of Ecology’s website warns against burning things other than wood.

It also says it’s illegal to burn garbage, cardboard boxes or anything that normally emits dense smoke or what they call “unacceptable odors.”

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