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Chimeneas can't be lit in Denver -- unless they're being used as a barbecue

dhiminea legal.jpg
Banned in Denver?
All those outdoor fireplaces at the big-box stores look like they'd make great holiday gifts -- but not for Denver residents. Because outdoor fires are banned here, unless they're used for cooking. One fire-loving Platt Park couple learned that last winter, when they were huddled around their backyard chiminea and suddenly found surprise visitors at the gate: the Denver Fire Department.

Some nosy neighbor had called in a complaint -- a common occurrence, according to the DFD.

And the firefighters told the couple what salespeople at Home Depot or Lowe's never will: Outdoor fires are not allowed in Denver. Not in fireplaces, not in fire pits, not in chimineas. Grills and smokers are okay, they learned, but only when used to cook food.

As the cold weather hit this fall, they found themselves missing their backyard fireplace -- and then discovered the solution in Santa Fe: a chiminea with a grill. So they hauled it back to Denver, set it up in the back yard, threw in a couple of pieces of pinon, and fired up. Sure enough, within ten minutes a firetruck pulled up: Someone had called in a complaint about a backyard fire. This time, though, the homeowners were ready: They showed the crew of firefighters the label that came with the contraption, showing that it was a "chiminea barbecue."

"Then remember to keep a marshmallow out here," one advised, then shouldered his gear and headed back out the gate.

Don't count on the nosy neighbor being invited over for s'mores.

From our archives: "Outdoor fires are banned in Denver: Watch out for smoking deals on chimeneas."


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11 comments
Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Because when there's food on it, that's what keeps the air quality from degrading, and it's what stops any risk of any fire spreading...and I've got this bridge for sale....

gina_michelle109
gina_michelle109

i work at home depot, and i regularly advise customers of chiminea's illegality. i'd feel worse knowing the customer got fined or wasted their money because of my neglecting to mention it, than i ever would for taking a sale away from the company. it's a job, yes, and i'm grateful for it, but trust me the corporation is not hurting for money and losing one $100 sale isn't going to make a difference to them at the end of the day.

Holly Elkins
Holly Elkins

Damn I can't use my fire pit? It's a rental. They built it.

Mark DeNittis
Mark DeNittis

Wow maybe fill the chimenea with indica or sativa?

J Murray d'Armand
J Murray d'Armand

It was a neat trip to witness the fire truck turn up my block, me thinking to myself that there is no way on God's green that a whole bucket brigade would arrive to tell me I was in the wrong, and then to witness it stop in front of my house. Comforting to know the men were so eager to put out my little metal decorative fire thingy with their impressive hoses. Maybe a little excessive when the police cars stopped and the boys in blue whipped out their cell-phones to capture the whole thing fer' YouTube. "City and County of Denver, you need a permit to burn wood. " "Thank you, good sir." "Yeah. Now you know." "Yes. Yes I do." SCENE.

Steven Tillinghast
Steven Tillinghast

Could we just get a short list of the two or three objects and activities in the known universe that *aren't* banned in Denver? I think that would be easier.

Steven Tillinghast
Steven Tillinghast

Well Ian, you see, um, the delicious chicken would distract the flames and make them incapable of burning anything else, or creating air pollution, or whatever it is they do that makes them illegal in Denver. Mmmm, delicious chicken. See, I can't even focus now.

Rich Carollo
Rich Carollo

Sounds like their neighbors are quite the dicks.

Ian Kluhsman
Ian Kluhsman

So I just need to be roasting a chicken and that makes it legal? Kind of a gray area if you ask me.

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