Smoke chamber in old home.

The smoke chambers placement is to the right side.Open and exposed. Soot and smoke evident on wood, plaster and lath. No visible signs of charring and the chamber is roughly 12 plus foot square and extends to the roof.
Exposed wood and lathing plainly visible and I am confused.
Also note the electrical wire so close to the damper vent. ( live wire) I tested.
I have never encountered this before.
I am seeing something new almost every day. I love it !!!
#3 has the wire close to damper door.
Rum-ford style fire box, but a bit larger.
Sorry for the edit. The chimney sweep called it smoke chamber.
I differ but and have no explanation. It has been used by owner for 25 years. 20 times a year and the fires are average in size .
I see a problem here. I am always open minded and looking for help.
I have never seen any like this before.

26 years part/full time inspecting… if I don’t see something wierd, bizarre, upside down/backwards, stupid, crazy by Tuesday noon in any full week of inspecting, I say “I must have had my eyes closed”.

What happened to the structural brick sidewall or brick flue divider?

Just saw your edit…State that the fireplace and chimney are unsafe for use due to exposed wood framing/lath. Tell them that a licensed mason must be consulted…he will give them the terrible news about the cost of making this safely useable . Due to its age, the flue is most likely unlined…most insurance companies will not allow their use!!

5 out of 6 flues in the 120-150 year old place I did Tuesday PM were unlined…I told the buyer (a property investor and a regular customer) to close the 5 unlined flues off from the top to prevent rain entry and heat loss.

I am a licensed mason.
Brian the double flue liners are there and of course serpentine, meaning its is bowed at a terrible angle. About 12 inches off the upper 1/3 to the crown.
Its problematic and missing elements.
I know those flues, they have a beveled end and are safer than ones used today that are stacked on top of one another and have a 1/2 inch masonry bond.
She is not looking to repair it I do not think. Other ways to get around that expense. ( insert and stainless liner.) More cost effective.
I am just showing you my find and asking questions.
The problem is that not all masons have this knowledge.
Today most masons learn simple stretcher bond course layout and very little practical experience with double width, triple width let alone all the beautiful bonds that make a exterior envelope so appealing and stand the true test of mother natures time, longevity.
I have done many demo and aided in building chimneys.
That was when I was cutting my teeth at my trade 25 years back.
I explained to her that in my opinion the home has been renovated for some reason and safety is paramount.
I wanted some reference to my finding for I have been wrong before and will take my time even when I make conclusions drawn upon my own experiences.
So imagine , that chimney sweeps observation ( smoke chamber ) company is one of the bigger ones in Montreal Quebec.
I will inform her again with my findings as I stated I would.
I wanted to be 100 percent sure.

Well, We all know “Bigger isn’t necessarily better”.;-):roll::mrgreen:

Bigger isn’t always better.
Sound like a Doctor Phil topic.