A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Fireplace Situation

I bought this house on an acre of land, including woods with requisite woodland animals. Also included, according to the details of the bill of sale - is a wood burning fireplace.
I love a wood burning fireplace.
I'm my father's daughter in this respect. My dad is a big fire maker from way back and I totally got the gene. My dad will build such raucous fires that my Grandpa Drake used to say that if you wanted to test your fireplace, have his son in law over to build a fire.
A good firebox will take a lot. :)
So all this aside, I've been building fires on my own since I was about ten. I've got technique. I like to build up a roaring blaze and then have it calm down to a nice even burn that lasts.
My Aunt Suz and Debbie are in GA and it's gotten chilly here. The other morning before they stopped over for brunch, I thought it'd be nice to build a little fire (just a little one!) for ambiance and to knock the chill off the living room.

So I ambled over to the firebox to just check the flue and other assorted things one does before building a fire. The previous owners had left some charred wood, ash etc in the box which I thought was kind of dick headed but whatever no big whoop I was gonna build on top of it.

I pushed back the screen, and encountered THIS.....

Now you can see ash, and soot.....and evidence of a REAL fire.....but do you see that on the RIGHT? See it?

Here, take a better look......

Yes boys and girls. THAT is a GAS LINE.


Now I don't wanna say that I'm totally fucking so pissed off at this that I can barely speak. Because, that was days ago. But I'm still miffed. Because now I'm in this situation. I don't know if this pipe is hooked up to anything - like the MAIN GAS LINE - I've got no basement so I can't run downstairs and follow the pipe. Did this pipe COME with the fireplace and they just never hooked it to the gas main? Is it hooked to the gas main and the previous owners were so stupid that they burned wood fires in this fireplace and got LUCKY that they didn't burn down the house?

My questions are myriad but my anger is legion.

So, we've emailed our real estate agent trying to get her to get in touch with George and Martha (ever since I met them they've become the characters in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe? - but they're the Georgia edition).

And I'm at a loss as to how to proceed. I should have a chimney sweep out to clean the chimney and inspect it.

Ideas? Call the gas company? We hate the gas company, so that's a problem? Maybe our home inspector?

I am so pissed off.


divrchk said...

That should have totally been addressed in your home inspection. I would start there.

Kristine said...

I would be shocked if that was a live line. I'm sure it's just preplumbed for a gas insert. But absolutely check for sure.

Tim said...

Definitely have a chimney sweep inspect and clean your flue. You don't want any unwanted chimney fires burnin' up the place. (We had squirrel's nest do some nasty things to our chimney. (We love our fire department.)
Second, look for a switch or key around the fire place. (Don't let the kids see it.) You may have a gas fire starter. And yes, this should totally have been part of your home inspection.

Loco said...

Maybe Garth would know . . .

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I think I just had a heart attack.