I am a someone new inspector. I have done 7 inspections on my own so far. I ran into this fireplace that seems unusual to me. I was unable to see any cleanout or damper door. The metal panel that can be seen in the photo is permanently installed covering most of the chimney opening other than a 4 inch diameter metal flue cut out. Is this a correct installation? Is this a decommissioned fireplace?
That is not a correct installation.
I would recommend a Level II C.S.I.A. fireplace inspection for safety, before use.
A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system. Changes can include a change in the fuel type, changes to the shape of, or material in, the flue (i.e. relining), or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency. Additionally, a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operation malfunction or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the chimney. Building fires, chimney fires, seismic events as well as weather events are all indicators that this level of inspection is warranted.
Etc., etc., etc.
It most likely had a fireplace insert at one time. Or wood stove insert.
It certainly has been modified. I strongly agree with @lkage
That’s a very good possibility.
Call out all the defects you see and as Larry stated recommend a Level 2 inspection.
Good for you to see that. It was modified to install an insert. That gets’ a red flag and a note not to use until repaired by a qualified person. Using the fireplace before repairs had been made would be a disaster