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Letter: Possible Tragedy Averted

To the Editor:

Ignorance isn’t always bliss ... or, whew, that was a close one.

Several small events linked together to make what I hope will be a happy ending.

We just had our annual furnace cleaning appointment and the technician had the unpleasant duty of informing me that our chimney tiles were not in good shape. No one wants bad news. And how many of us reliably bother to look up our chimneys as long as the furnace runs and the smoke exits the chimney? He suggested we hire a chimney sweep to inspect further. By chance we were at the Home Show in Hanover that Sunday, and I remembered his warning; so I spoke to a young fellow representing a chimney sweeping outfit. When he came, he showed me the sorry state of the clay tiles in my chimney; they were cracked and had collapsed into the chimney. I’ve arranged to have it fixed immediately. We’re lucky not to have had the house fill up with smoke or fumes.

He asked me if we had a carbon monoxide alarm. We do, but it was still in the original box. My new smoke alarm was also still in its box. I just installed them both.

Yes, I put the “pro” in procrastination. I guess I will feel better having written this so a few others might avoid some unpleasant or even tragic events. I am not related to nor am I directly connected to any industries or fire departments in the area that sell or service heating systems. I have noticed several news stories about fires, and this is just my pitch to help out. I really want to thank the furnace technician and say this one looks like it will come out well.

Paul Callens

West Hartford