Why you shouldn’t go to sleep before your fireplace fire is out

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- When brick and mortar breaks down in a fireplace, heat can escape and get behind the fireplace wall.

That's what happened at a Rock Island home Thursday morning, December 7th.  A fire that was left to burn out overnight ended up building smoke and char on the wall of the fireplace, prompting a call to the fire department.

Battalion Chief Paul Hoffeditz said there wasn't much damage, but there was damage to the stud cavity behind the fireplace.

Fire Marshal Greg Marty said it's important to get your fireplace professionally inspected each year before use.  Marty explained that brick and mortar can break down overtime, allowing heat to get out and into the walls behind it.

In addition to inspections, Marty suggests using "good, clean, hard wood," and being home and present when there is a fire burning.  Also make sure the fire has burned all the way out before going to sleep.