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Smoldering/hopper fires are rare, but occur a number of times per year across all manufacturers of pellet stoves. Failure to operate and maintain the stove properly is the most common cause of hopper fires. If you close the lid of the hopper and turn off the stove, most hopper fires will only physically damage the stove itself. However, it can and will leave more than a little smoke in the house. What can quickly cause a hopper fire is not keeping the stove clean and/or poor airflow through the exhaust chambers. If airflow is low and ash builds up in the burner, it can allow pellets to build up in the auger feed system. Once the flame moves up the chute, it can heat the metal in the hopper to the point of combustion. Usually, it's a smoldering flame rather than a roaring fire, but if the lid is open and you get oxygen into the hopper, you're in for a much bigger problem. Below, find our guides, articles, and videos that show how to properly clean, maintain, and care for your pellet stove to function properly so you don't become another statistic.