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Fire caused by Wood burning stove in a Mongolian Yurt

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Fire damage

Fire damage

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Fire damage

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The wood burning stove

The wood burning stove

How this fire happened

A family were sleeping in a small group of Mongolian Yurt's in a woodland camp. A wood burning stove was used to heat the tent occupied by a child.

The stove flue used was a single skin stainless steel pipe, which took the waste smoke and fumes up through the canvas roof of the Yurt. Heat from the flue set fire to the silicon treated canvas fabric where it made contact with the roof. The fire developed rapidly in the wind destroying the Yurt and its contents before spreading to two further Yurts in the camp. Three people suffered minor burns including the child who woke up and escaped from a smoky tent, raising the alarm and waking his parents.

The traditional Yurts were imported from Mongolia and consisted of an inner and outer wall cover over a lattice wall made from wooden poles. The cone shaped roof is supported on roof poles to a central crown or wheel.

The wood burning stove was converted from an old gas cylinder with a single wall stainless steel flue angled through 2 x 90o to the roof of the Yurt and held in place with copper wire. The owners stated that they regularly burnt green wood in the stove; this is known to cause a build-up of deposits in the flue that may later ignite.

The effect it had

Safety message

A traditional Yert or Ger.  Westernised versions have become popular and increasingly found on campsites
A traditional Yert or Ger. Westernised versions have become popular and increasingly found on campsites

  • Purchase a purpose made wood burner that conforms to British Standards.
  • Ensure your wood burner is installed according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Consider fitting a Silicon Flashing for the flue pipe to exit the roof canvas.
  • Consider fitting a flue cowl to prevent down draft and fumes entering the structure.
  • Maintain the wood burner in line with manufacturer's instructions. Regularly check fixings and flue for damage.
  • Ensure flue is swept regularly.
  • Where possible avoid burning green, damp or treated wood.
  • Consider fitting a heat or smoke detector.
  • Consider fitting a Carbon Monoxide detector.
  • Consider keeping a fire extinguisher to hand.
  • Consider treating your tent/yurt fabric with a flame retardant and having a heat resistant wood stove panel fitted.
  • Always take care when disposing of ash, only use metal containers and empty in a safe area away from camp and dampen with water.
  • Never leave candles or naked flames unattended.

Further information

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Latest Update :
23 October 2020
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