The CFA has issued an official winter warning following two chimney fires over the weekend in the south-west.
Emergency crews attended two house fires on Saturday and Sunday, both of which originated in the chimney.
A fire broke out in the chimney of a Mortlake home on Saturday night and was extinguished by quick-thinking crews within half an hour.
A person in the home alerted crews and no-one was injured.
Crews then responded to a chimney fire that spread into the roof of a Port Fairy holiday rental on Sunday night.
Two occupants were inside when the blaze broke out and escaped unharmed.
- READ MORE: Crews extinguish blaze at Port Fairy home
Members of the Port Fairy brigade arrived on scene first and attempted to remove some of the tin from the roof to locate the fire before Warrnambool members took over.
"Our crews used breathing apparatus to take over from the Port Fairy crew on the roof to try and locate the fire due to the smoke," Warrnambool station officer Paul Curran said.
"Both crews then entered the structure to fight the fire from the inside.
"Once the fire was extinguished crews conducted some salvage and overhaul, basically tidying up the inside to try and get the property back into sorts.
"We resecured the premises and put the roof together. It took about two hours all up, the damage was contained to one room."
A timely winter reminder
Warrnambool senior station officer Troy Cleverly said heat sources in the home should be cleaned out or serviced at the beginning of winter.
"We recommend that people clean out their chimneys and flue at the start of every winter," he said.
"It's something that's easily forgotten but should be done annually before running heaters and open fires for the first time.
"We recommend those with a gas heater to get it serviced, there's always a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if it's not functioning properly.
"Carbon monoxide is colourless and odourless, you don't know it's there and before you know it you're getting drowsy and sick. You need to be on top of that at the start of winter."
Mr Cleverly said dryers should also be regularly cleaned out.
"Cleaning out the lint filter in the dryer should be done routinely, the same as checking your smoke alarm battery," he said.
"As people start using their dryers we see a lot more fires start in the laundry. The lint is really combustible and catches fire really easily.
"Don't dry things too close to the heater and try and mitigate the risks as best you can."
He said older properties with older heating systems should be regularly serviced and maintained.
"People can't all live in brand new houses with current gas or electric heating," the senior station officer said.
"It's really important to keep chimneys clear in older properties because there's often a serious build-up of soot, carbon and ash in chimneys.
"Unfortunately people are largely reactive, and only when something happens they take action. Don't wait until it's too late."
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