Garage Firewall?

Pics don’t really show anything so I am going to ask you to use your imagination. This is a ranch house with a 1 car attached garage built in the late 50’s. The firewall is original and for the most part intact. The sellers added a metal insert fireplace into the family room that backs into the garage. Firewall was cut to accommodate the back of the fireplace, so some holes exist but they built an (about) 8’ wall around the unit that does not go all the way up to the ceiling but covered it with what appears to be 5/8 drywall. The top is open to the garage.

For some reason this just doesn’t seem right but would like to hear from the group.

Sounds like a bit of a hack. Based just on your description I’d say the the wall needs work. Without getting emeshed in codes I consider whether fire or gases could move readily through the wall by a path that shouldn’t be there. If so then I write it up

A chase would be acceptable if there are no voids. The key is (as Donald pointed out) that the separation must be fully intact, allowing no transfer of air between the garage and living space. The chase must also be constructed in a manner that maintains the required rating for the separation.

The fireplace would be a major concern in my opinion. If it appears to be a “home-owner” installation, it’s possible that proper clearances were not maintained. That would be a more immediate threat in my mind.

Thanks Guys!
Jeff you provided some good verbiage to put in the report and brought up the point of clearance too. It just happened the next morning I looked at the same type of fireplace only in a basment and the sticker on the back read “1/2’ clearance must be maintained from all materials /insulation”. I was so concerned with the firewall I had forgotten that the unit in question was blanketed in fiberglas insulation. Yes it was a homeowner job but appeared to be prtetty good with the exception of these two things. I did call out that there was no way to determine it was properly installed and to get an evaluation by a qualified contractor. Thanks, this is what this forum is supposed to do.:mrgreen: