How to Start a Fire in a Fireplace

You don’t have to be an Eagle Scout to start a fire in your fireplace. You just have to use a tried and trusted method.

How to Start a Fire – Step by Step

  • Make sure the damper is open. It may be located inside the firebox or at the top of the chimney.
  • Crumple 2-3 sheets of black and white (not color) newspaper and place them on the fireplace grate.
  • Put a handful of tinder on top of the newspaper. Slivers of pine wood, or fatwood make the best tinder.
  • Criss-cross 6 or 8 pieces of kindling–dry hardwood, about 1 inch square by 1 foot long, on top of the tinder.
  • Twist together two sheets of newspaper, light them and hold them up inside the fireplace to get an upward flow of warm air started.
  • Light the newspaper under the kindling in 2-3 places with fatwood, a fireplace lighter, or fireplace matches.
  • When the kindling is burning well, add 2-3 pieces of split, seasoned firewood. (Later, add more firewood as needed.)
  • Let your fire breathe: leave space between the logs for air to flow.
    How to Start a Fire in Fireplace: Let the fire breathe with spaces between the logs

Since the beginning of time, people have found lighting the communal fire a rewarding experience. As you start a fire in your fireplace, seeing those first flickers of flame grow into a sustainable fire will, no doubt, be rewarding for you, too.

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About

Tom has been writing for the FireplaceMall.com blog since 2011 and has loved sitting in front of the fireplace since he was an itty-bitty boy.

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One comment on “How to Start a Fire in a Fireplace
  1. Lisa Renn says:

    Thanks! This worked wonderfully.
    I tried to add a photo of the roaring beauty, but I wasn’t successful.
    My husband will be in awe……

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  1. […] Now build a welcoming fire in your fireplace.  Nothing says “welcome” to holidays guests like an inviting fire in the fireplace. Read fire-building tips here. […]

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