Friday, November 19, 2010

Our First Real Fire In Our Fireplace!

We had a crazy snowstorm last Saturday (which I blogged about here).  I mentioned that we were going to have our first fire in our fireplace (we were really in the Christmas spirit because of the snow). So I had to write about the experience! Again, my fears were the smell, the dogs getting in it, the TV falling off the brick wall, ruining the DIY mantel Alex had built, and of course burning the house down (that didn't happen of course since our little blog is still alive).  Earlier in the day, we grabbed fire wood and Duraflame Firestarters from Home Depot and a new Fireplace Tool Set from Target.

Before Alex and I had our first fire, he did a little online research about using a 90 year old brick and morter fireplace (click here to learn about some neighborhood history) and discovered that the main concern would be airflow up through the chimney (and obviously not burning our house down). 

First, Alex checked out the flue damper control (we shined some light on it). He had to make sure that it was in the open position so that the smoke could exit and create an updraft into the chimney.
Alex then heated the chimney with rolled newspaper to ensure that there was enough of an updraft to pull the smoke out of the chimney once the fire got started.
Once he added the kindling and had a small fire going, Alex used a flashlight to verify that all the smoke was going up and more importantly out.  Thankfully it did, I hate smoke smell!
(My job? I stood by with our fire extinguisher in case of emergency!)
Thankfully, no emergency situation! 

Once the fire got going, it created a warm cozy atmosphere in our house.  We both sat down in front of the fire to take in the warmth and listen to the crackling sound coming from the hearth.  It was a really memorable moment for Alex and I. We had never experienced having a fire in our house, it was amazing, like learning our house could do something we didn't know it could do! Finally, we knew the practical reason why a fireplace was a requirement in our home search.
As we sat by, we thought about what it must have been like in 1924 when the house was new.  Minnesota winters are brutal, I wonder if the Friedson family (the first family that lived here, I wrote about them)  stayed warm right by this fire?
Once we were done sitting by the fire, to make it all more perfect Alex and I turned on 'The Holiday'.  It is our favorite movie for the Christmas season (and no it isn't a chick flick!).  We always find ourselves loving Arthur and getting caught up looking at the details of Iris' English cottage (I would kill for that blue tufted velvet ottoman in her living room).  I love looking at the house details on Hooked on Houses.
It was the perfect cozy night at home!


  1. The fire looks amazing! I am so jealous! I told my husband when we add on to our house we are having a wood burning fireplace put in. I grew up with one and I miss the smell! Looks cozy!

  2. We're suuuper jealous! We really wanted a house with a fireplace but it wasn't in the cards. We might put a gas one in eventually. We'll have to settle for the Yule log on TV for now.

  3. We haven't been brave enough to try our fireplace. We need to cut back a tree branch first and I think we need to hire an inspector just to be sure. Our tv is above the mantel too. Love it there rather than having competition between the fireplace and tv with furniture placement but I do miss decorating there. ;) Your fire looks so cozy!


  4. We just had our first fire a couple weeks ago, too! We've owned our house for over a year now, but wanted to wait until we got it inspected to make sure the house wouldn't burn down, haha. We have an old wood-burning fireplace, too (although not quite as old as yours!) and I have to agree - you can't really beat the sounds, wamrth and smell of a wood fire on a cold wintery day. Love it!



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