how to build an in-door coal fire?

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sdefranca | 13:02 Wed 21st Dec 2005 | Home & Garden
3 Answers
I moved into our house 3 months ago & the seller assured me the fireplace was working. I have bought coals & firelighters & have tried numerous times to get the fire going but to no avail, what can I do? How does one build an indoor fire?


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Firstly, you should get a chimney-sweep in for two reasons...a) he will establish that the chimney is still open and functioning and b) he can clean it, given that you do not know whether it has been cleaned for years. If it hasn't it is a fire-hazard. I say these things, as I'm a bit concerned as to why you have failed to get it going.

Once you're sure re the points above, place crumpled up newspaper in the grate and top that off with kindling-sticks placed criss-cross, then pieces of coal on top of those. Light the paper in two or three places.
In the absence of paper and sticks, place two firelighters in the centre of the grate and smaller lumps of coal over and around them, with larger pieces at the back and sides. Then light the lighters.
When the fire is out afterwards, clear out the ash but save the cinders, which you should then use to cover over the coal in future fires. Good luck!

It�s really difficult to get a coal fire going with just firelighters! (yes I've done it)

You�ll need some kindling (Wood) as well.

The way I light mine is quite simple. I place one firelighter in the grate and around and on top of this I put several bits of kindling (wood) then on top and around the kindling I put the coal or smokeless fuel. This is all done before lighting. In the ash pan I put another firelighter which when the ash pan is put back in place it is directly under the firelighter that's in the grate.

I then tidy up all the mess that�s been made.

When I want to light the fire I simply pull out the ash pan, light the firelighter and then put the ash pan back. The firelighter in the ash pan lights the one in the grate which lights the kindling and then the coal.

But please please get a chimney sweep in first.


I would just like to add to the above good answers, the one thing that is missing and is guaranteed to get your fire going is described below.

Buy a shield, these are made by coal fire companys, They are a sheet of steel with a handle on which after lighting the fire you blank off the whole fireplace by holding it except for the air intake at the bottom. Your fire will be roaring up the chimney in no time!

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