Thatch Roofs and Open Fireplaces

Misty Hills Hotel reception area damaged by fire

Misty Hills Hotel reception area damaged by fire
Image: LookLocal.co.za

Early in June 2013, the reception area of the popular Misty Hills Hotel was badly damaged when the thatch roof caught fire.

According to a report on the LookLocal website, “The routine lighting of a cosy fire in the fireplace in the Misty Hills Hotel reception area on a chilly winter morning left a path of destruction after the thatch ceiling caught alight.”

“It is believed that the sparks caused by the big chunks of wood in the fireplace could have set the thatch ceiling alight. The chilly wind helped to fan the fire towards the other reception areas.”

Fortunately, no-one was injured in the blaze, and the hotel was back in operation later the same day.

Around 40,000 fires occur every year in South Africa, of which around 10,000 are in private homes.

Open fireplaces and thatch roofs are not a good combination.

Closed-combustion fireplaces are much safer than open fires, because the fire is entirely contained. Once the fire is burning, and the door is closed, there is no chance of sparks escaping into the room. In addition, a closed combustion fireplace is much more efficient than an open fireplace, which means that less fuel is burned to achieve the same degree of heating.