Fireplace Insert

Saturdays inspection had a manufactured wood burning fireplace insert. All of the units that I’m familiar with require a minimum 1" clearance from combustibles and I reported as such. This unit has a 1" x 4" piece of dimensional lumber installed on either side of the fire box. We don’t have a lot of fireplaces here in South Florida but i have never seen this before nor can I think of a reasonable reason for lumber to be there. I would guess that it has been installed after market but for what other than starting a fire. Part of a shipping crate that should have been removed in 1992 when the insert was installed? Any Thoughts?

Doesn’t look right to me. There are “zero-clearance” units, but the front of the firebox usually requires non-combustible materials. The only way to know for sure is to check the manufacturers specifications.

Almost looks as if the wrong size insert was installed, and someone (Harry?) installed the wood to ‘close the gap’.

Anyway I look at it, combustable materials in that location are just a bad idea.

It sure enough doesn’t fit the space ! The whole thing looks pretty amateur . I’d recommend a certified wood burning fireplace inspector ! LOL on this one !

Now that I’m looking at it on my home monitor, I can tell you for certain - this is an improper installation.

It’s like the panels are for a smaller fireplace so they just decided to fill in the gaps, with WOOD. Move to defect award category!!

also apparent is improper draft evidenced by the soot on the masonry under the mantle
DISCONTINUE USE until installation of the unit & flue are fully evaluated, repaired and approved by a person qualified by the AHJ

Sometimes the best finds are when something just don’t look right and that don’t look right!