We had a house inspection Saturday morning so we were up early to give the house a once over. The weather had turned cooler so we decided to light the wood burner in the living room as well as the Rayburn in the kitchen. It would make the whole house feel more welcoming.
Mick lit the living room fire and we sat down to breakfast. A little while later I walked past to see through the glass that the firebox was completely filled with smoke. Mick raced outside to discover not a wisp of smoke coming from the chimney. It wasn't looking good! With only 1 1/2 hours until the inspection we decided to just leave it and let the smouldering go out. By the time we left the house the smoke was gone and it just looked like someone had set the fire with wood ready to be lit. Nothing had burnt at all.
When the people inspecting the house had gone we took the wood from the firebox and it looked like the firelighters hadn't even caught on properly. They were left over from last Winter so we came to the conclusion that they were stale. Today the same people returned for a second inspection so among the many other things we had to do today we decided to light the fire - this time using newspaper. The same thing happened - lots of smoke inside the firebox and nothing more. We just left it again and later this afternoon Mick set out to investigate the problem.
Mick got on the roof and peered down the flu with a torch but couldn't see anything. Back in the house he slid back the steel plate that's on the "ceiling" of the firebox and got the shock of his life. A possum was wedged inside the flu! He's hissing and snarling so Mick has hung a rope (with knots tied along it) down from the top of the chimney in the hope that the possum will climb out overnight. We've had this happen in our other chimney once before and the rope worked. We'll see what happens by morning.