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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Winter 2016/17 > Woodstove worries

Woodstove worries


The plan was simple: drive up to the lake on Friday night. Snowmobile across the ice to the cabin. Fire up the woodstove. Get warm. Grab some shut-eye.

But when smoke spilled from a joint in the stovepipe, filling the cottage and setting off the carbon monoxide alarm, Courtney Bannatyne knew she and her boyfriend were in for a long night. As the temperature dropped to -35°C, with nowhere else to go, they huddled under blankets in their Northwestern Ontario cottage, prodding the feeble fire. “We were trying to keep the cottage from getting so cold that we’d freeze, but, at the same time, we were terrified of carbon monoxide poisoning from all the smoke.” In the morning, the culprit was easy to spot from up on the roof: the screen on the chimney cap was almost entirely plugged by hardened black creosote.

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