BEAVERTON A family was displaced after a fire started in their chimney and caused smoke damage throughout their house Saturday, firefighters said.

The family, which included four children, lost power and many of their possessions when smoke and flames spread from their fireplace flue and into the home s attic at around 10:30 p.m., said Karen Eubanks with Tualatin Valley Fire.

Fire investigators confirmed that the fire at 7805 SW Hall Boulevard in Beaverton was caused by a fireplace flue that had not been inspected or maintained for some time.

The American Red Cross was assisting the family.

Fire officials said that more than 50,000 heating equipment fires occur each year in the US, which are the second leading cause of fires in homes after cooking.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue encourages people to have fireplaces and wood stoves inspected and cleaned before using them, and to burn only dry, seasoned wood.

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