East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are reminding people to dispose of their Christmas trees safely after attending two chimney fires caused by burning tree wood in Lewes.
Firefighters attended two incidents in two days where residents had attempted to dispose of their trees by burning the wood bit by bit in the fire place.
Fortunately, the fire at the first incident - on January 4 at 4:45pm on Southover High Street - was out on arrival, but the second call to Lansdown Place at 12:26pm on January 5 required crews to use a thermal imaging camera and pump to put out the fire.
Crew manager Andrew Watson said: “The residents at both properties were very lucky that these fires were not more serious. Although burning Christmas tree wood may seem like a practical way of using and recycling trees it is extremely dangerous.”
He added: “Burning any kind of wood, other than that which is specifically meant to go on your fire can be very dangerous and this includes Christmas trees.
“There are a number of local initiatives for disposing of Christmas trees, burning them just isn’t a safe option.”
Christmas trees can be recycled at Brook Street car park, in Lewes, until Sunday, January 17. Artificial trees cannot be composted and therefore will not be accepted.
Recycling points are also at Bay Vue car park and Piddinghoe Avenue car park, in Peacehaven, and Richmond Road car park and Buckle car park in Seaford.
For information about chimney safety, visit www.esfrs.org/your-safety/fire-safety-at-home/chimneys.
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