This could have been much worse.

A few nights ago, my boyfriend and I lit a fire in the fireplace at home while our roommate was at work. I go to bed crazy early so I can wake up in time to co-host The RockShow in the morning, so we put the fire out about 7 p.m. and headed to bed. My roommate is a bartender and doesn't get in until pretty late most nights. Upon arriving home, he noticed that we had used the fireplace and still had some wood left for another fire.

He sat down and put a log on the fire, had a drink, and fell asleep in his chair -- something that probably happens pretty often given how toasty and comforting a fireplace can be after a long day at work.

Around 3 a.m., my boyfriend jumped out of bed and ran into the living room. I was annoyed he was waking me up and didn't notice the layer of smoke above my head and throughout the house.

Our roommate Steven didn't notice that we had closed the flue to the chimney, which, if you aren't familiar, is how you convey exhaust out of your house. Instead of the smoke exiting our home, it spilled right in.

My boyfriend was able to open all the windows up and air out the house, but had it been a larger fire, we might not have been so lucky, especially my roommate, who slept soundly through the whole thing.

This could have been a worse situation and it's one of the many reasons why you should never leave a fire unattended, even one that seems totally safe in your living room. Never assume a flue is open, and always check first.

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