Dec 7, 2015

Fire in the hole!

Last weekend, we rented a cabin in Minong, WI for a weekend of relaxation and fun for the kids. The cabin was one of the few cabins available to rent which had a sauna.  On a different note, I find it odd that here in the Northland, there’s only about 4 cabins that are available for rent that have saunas. So if you know of one—please PM me with details. Back to the story. The weather played out perfectly. It was in the mid 40s during the day. The lake had no ice on it. There was a straight shot run from the sauna to the lake and a big fire pit right by the lake. We strategized how we’re gonna get the sauna nice and hot and jump in the lake! The sauna house was what I think an 8x12 building. It was made out of cedar and had a metal roof. The roof was gable and so was the ceiling (now that I’ve built a sauna myself—I wondered why they’re heating all that extra space. ) The walls and roof were un-insulated, possibly only having the reflective foil, though I’m not sure. The hot room had 2 windows. Neither one was made to open, but I’m sure they didn’t help to keep the heat in. The stove was a small old stove with the front door laying on the floor. We barely attached it back to the stove, got out the broom and cleaned out all the pieces of wood all over the floor from the logs that were brought in by previous users. I told my friend that with all the mistakes in building this sauna—it’d take 3 hrs to get it up to temp. I think he took what I said a little too seriously and stuffed the stove full of wood. We went on to start grilling dinner and getting ready to eat. About 30 minutes later, my friend looks at me and says—"are there supposed to be flames coming out of the chimney?" I look up from the deck, and there are in fact, good size flames coming though the chimney cap. Now the cabin and sauna are all located on a lot heavily covered in pines. There are pine needles everywhere. All though the sauna roof was metal, there was a bunch of pine needles laying right on the chimney flashing. My first thought was OH SHEET! I grabbed an empty water jug, ran in the house, filled it up with water and came back to douse down the stove. The flames subsided. We decided to pass on a sauna that day J

Thinking about it further on Monday, I would guess that it was the chimney fire people warn you about. Just the creosote in the pipe that caught fire. I confirmed my theory with Glenn from who was in full support.  J I have always planned on having a fire extinguisher in my new sauna, but I think now—I will go for a bigger one.

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