Built up creosote on a chimney’s walls was the cause of a small fire Monday night in Payson.
The fire broke out about 4 p.m. in the chimney of a home in the 600 block of West Sherwood, said Payson Fire Chief Marty deMasi.
Although firefighters contained the blaze in a matter of minutes and minimal damage was done to the home, deMasi said it could have been much worse.
When creosote, a black, oily residue, builds up in a flue it is extremely combustible, he said. When the homeowners went to start the fire, the creosote quickly ignited.
The homeowners told firefighters they had never cleaned the chimney before.
Regular chimney sweeps are essential to remove buildup and check for cracks, officials said.