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updated: 11/15/2013 3:06 PM

Batavia house fire blamed on wood-burning stove

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A wood-burning stove is being blamed for a fire on the 700 block of Lathem Street in Batavia.

A child who was awake at 12:34 a.m. Friday smelled smoke and alerted the other residents. All exited safely, the Batavia Fire Department reported.

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The stove was in the basement of the single-story, wood-frame house. Officials are still investigating, but believe the flue might have been improperly installed, leading to a situation where materials around the stove, including the flooring, ignited, according to Deputy Chief Randy Banker.

Damage to the house and its contents is estimated at $25,000.

Banker urged all people who have fireplaces or wood-burning stoves to check their flues for proper installation, and to clean them before starting to use them for the season. He said in particular creosote, which is a oily byproduct, builds up in flues. It can catch on fire, and the fire might become too hot for the flue to contain.

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