A Killeen home was partially destroyed on Tuesday after catching fire that morning.
It happened on the 1300 block of Becker Drive, just behind the Killeen mall.
Firefighters blocked off several streets until they contained the flames, at about 6:30a.m.
Though the cause of the fire was still undetermined Tuesday afternoon, investigators believe the fire likely erupted from a broken pipe in the fireplace.
“There are several ways a fireplace can be hazardous,” said Steven Casey, Bell County Fire Marshall.
A wood fireplace needs several things checked before it can be turned on.
“Fireplace safety is really important, and with that safety is to make sure it’s clean, make sure it’s inspected for any breaks or any of that sort of thing, make sure it’s got a cap on the flue going outside because there may be some sparks that come up through there, make sure you have a screen for anything that pops out of the fireplace itself,” said Casey.
Failing to take those precautions, can result in significant damage.
“And I said, oh my god it’s a fire somewhere. And I saw the smoke just oozing down the streets and I said ‘my god what’s really going on here’ and I said ‘oh my god, somebody’s house is on fire’,” said Patricia Gillespie, neighbor.
Gillespie lives just across the street from the house that caught fire, she’s thankful she doesn’t have a fireplace in her home.
“Thank god, thank god I don’t because I wouldn’t use it anyway (laughs) I would just have to stand over the stove and let the heat warm me up, I wouldn’t dare want a chimney, no, no thank god for that,” said Gillespie.
Because although they may be relaxing to sit in front of during cold days and nights, they can be the main ingredient for a disaster.
“This time of the year, that’s when people’s house get caught on fire when it’s so cold outside,” said Gillespie.
“The fireplace fires are usually there’s a break in the pipe and or they have no screen,” added Casey.
If you must use your fireplace, there are a number of chimney sweeps in the area that can inspect it for you.
Otherwise, the Bell County Fire Marshal says turn on the heater or add some extra blankets to the bed at night to stay warm.
No one was injured in the fireplace fire.