Without regular cleaning and upkeep, a chimney can be seriously damaged by soot, according to an expert.
Speaking to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Charlie Whitaker, a chimney sweep for 27 years, said that when a chimney fills completely with soot, it becomes "choked off".
The soot itself is a byproduct of oil combustion, while creosote comes from wood burning. A lack of a chimney cap can galvanise the production of soot, according to the expert, highlighting the need for flue accessories.
Mr Whitaker said: "It mixes with the sulphur and oil and becomes sulphuric acid. That eats away at the chimney and the chimney implodes and blocks itself. It's not rare."
People should continually clean the chimney, otherwise it can store gases like carbon monoxide and threaten the lives of people in the home, he added.
It follows recommendations from Patch.com, which claimed that people should never start fires with flammable liquids and also invest in chimney inspections, as otherwise they could leave themselves open to a chimney fire.