Panacea fire result of backed up flue

By Caroline Klapper | Dec 05, 2012
Photo by: Caroline Klapper Smoke pours from the roof of Panacea as the result of a small fire in the flue of the coffee roaster.

Fans of Panacea coffee don’t need to worry about getting their favorite caffeine fix after the coffee house experienced a small fire in the coffee roaster’s flue late Wednesday afternoon.

Panacea employees Cassie Carter and Sarah MacEwen said they were unaware there was a problem until an emergency vehicle arrived to check on the smoke and flames someone had reported seeing on the roof of the building.

“I had no idea what was going on,” Carter said.

“I smelled a burning smell but not the usual coffee roasting smell,” MacEwen said, “but we couldn’t tell. There was no smoke inside.”

A build up of residue in the flue of Panacea’s coffee roaster ignited, causing the flames and smoke to appear through a vent on the roof, but the Waynesville Fire Department quickly extinguished the flames.

“Everything’s fine,” said Fire Chief Joey Webb. “It (the flue) got stopped up and overheated. Basically, it’s like a chimney fire. Everything builds up in there, and it just needs to be cleaned.”

However, because Panacea Coffee Company is in close quarters among a row of shops and storefronts in Frog Level, he said they took extra precautions and shut down Commerce Street for a short time while they checked the roof and attic of the building for any signs the fire had spread.

The building was not damaged and there were no injuries.

“They’ll be back in business tomorrow,” Webb said.

Although no damage occurred, Webb added it is a good time of year to remind people to have their chimneys checked before using it this winter.

“Clean it out annually, and make sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working,” he said.

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