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Perham firefighters contain chimney fire

PERHAM - Bitter cold temperatures were an inconvenience for firefighters, but fortunately, a Tuesday morning chimney fire caused almost no damage.

It was about 30 degrees below zero when Perham volunteer firefighters were called at 7:09 a.m., Tuesday morning.

The fire call was ten miles north of Perham, at the Steve and Ellen Lampton residence. The fire was ignited in a six-foot section of stovepipe, attached to a combination propane/wood stove, according to Perham Fire Chief Mark Schmidt.

Perham's tanker truck started, despite the brutal cold, but by the time the rig arrived at the scene, the airlines had frozen up.

Fortunately, the fire was minor, causing only light smoke damage in the home, said Schmidt. It is important to note that the limited damage can also be attributed to the family's smoke alarm--which alerted them immediately, before the fire intensified.

The New York Mills Volunteer Fire Department also sent a back-up tanker, but they departed within about 15 minutes after the situation was under control.

Perham firefigthters stayed at the scene for an hour-and-a-half, just to make sure everything was under control and nothing would re-ignite.

"This wasn't the kind of day we wanted to have to go back," said Chief Schmidt.