Chimney fire lands Mesa family out in the cold

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MESA, Ariz. -- Investigators say the construction of the fireplace and chimney in a Mesa home likely contributed to an early morning fire that landed a family out in the cold.

It happened shortly before 4 a.m. in the neighborhood of Guadalupe Road and Country Club Drive.

The family of four who lived in the home with their four dogs all escaped safely.

The four adults reportedly were watching television and threw a couple of extra logs on the fire. That turned out to be too much. The chimney got so hot that it caught fire.

The people heard their smoke detector go off. They then smelled the smoke as it began filling the home a few minutes later.

The Mesa Fire Department was able to put the fire out relatively quickly.

Firefighters on the scene said the construction of the chimney might have contributed to the fire. Crews said it's not uncommon for this particular kind of chimney construction to catch fire.

"When you're dealing with a brick chimney, you have a little more flexibility," said Forrest Smith of the Mesa Fire Department.

"With those chimneys, you're more concerned about cleaning. With these kinds of chimney, we're more concerned about how hot you get that."

Smith said if you're using a Duraflame log, it's important that you do not add anything to it. If you've built a fire, you have to be careful not to overbuild it.

Sometimes that's not as easy as it sounds.

"This time of year, when it's really cold, that's the first thing we think about is trying to get it as warm as possible inside," Smith said.

A damage estimate for the home was not immediately available.

No injuries were reported.