A chimney fire had Peoria fire fighters battling smoke and flames on New Years Day. Now Fire and Arson Inspector, Brad Pierson said they've found the culprits.
"We found that some birds had put some nesting material up along the chimney, and we believe at this point that's what caused the fire is that nesting material ignited, dropped down on some insulation and the fire started there," Pierson said.
The couple who lives at the house has to deal with smoke and water damage, and find a new home for four months. Pierson said there is one way this chimney fire could have been prevented.
"If you have it inspected you're really narrowing the chances of it happening to you, down to a minimal," he said.
That's where chimney inspectors come in. Local inspector Todd Dosemagen calls himself the Chimney Doctor.
"You gotta be ready to get dirty," Dosemagen said.
Dosemagen has replaced the top hat and broom with a mask and some more advanced tools. He starts with a brush that looks more like an electric weed whacker, knocking down some of the bigger debris.
"A lot of birds nests, squirrels raccoons."
And sometimes things you wouldn't expect to fall down a chimney.
"I've had a snake come down at me one time. A duck, I've had anything come down. Can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup came down. You name it it comes down out of a chimney," Dosemagen said.
Whatever he finds, Dosemagen cleans it out, closes up, and makes that house a lot less likely to be the scene of a chimney fire.
Dosemagen charges $110 for a visit, that includes the inspection and sweep. An inspection alone costs $75.