unblocked a fire place - What is safe to remove?

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Hi,

In my house there was a fireplace that had previously been bricked up. However, it was done with no vent in the room, and the chimney pot was left exposed. (In actual fact the chimney pot was missing completely) As a result there was a build up of soot and this was then staining the plaster, leaving a horrible patch on the wall.

I previously had the chimney capped, with suitable ventilation.

I've removed all of the bricks that were blocking the fireplace. Here are some photos

Fire Place

Column of Bricks on the left, which has no support from below

Middle of the fire place, which looks like rubble

You can see that within the fireplace there are two columns of bricks, one either side of the fire place, and then a pile of rubble in the middle. All of this stuff seems very loose, and actually one of the columns of bricks is `floating' in mid-air in that is has not support. from bricks below.

I'm now wondering what I should do with this stuff. My inclination is to remove all of this also. Is it okay to do so? I suppose my main concern is that there is some sort of structural property of the two columns of bricks within the fireplace?

Thanks in advance
 
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it is hard to say by the photos, the main issue is what ever you remove, what is left will need to be structurally supported, this generally by a horizontal lintel.
You do have an arched formed, that will offer some support to the load above but confirmation that this support is bonded suitably to the remainder of structure is very important, I would get someone in to inspect it. Only a few weeks back, I was working with a colleague how had been on a job where a lad that was doing exactly what you intend to, sadly he won't be doing it again!
 
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Hi,

Thanks for your response. I'm not planning to touch the lintel, or the brickwork around the lintel. It's the two columns within the fireplace itself. It is quite difficult to see these two columns in the photos. Getting someone in to have a look is a good idea.

Thinking about it, I think the stuff inside the fireplace is a sort of old fashioned fire back for the fireplace. It is an old house, so I suppose fire backs used to be built from brick. Is that correct? Is it okay to remove a fire back?
 
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OK, so I've edit the first photo so as to highlight the areas I'm talking about.


The two columns of bricks are highlighted at the top, while the pile of bricks/rubble are at the bottom of the photo.

I've had a closer look and these two columns of bricks don't go any higher up than can be seen in the photo. Also, they are only connected to the chimney stack through mortar, i.e. the bricks aren't interleaved with those from the chimney stack.
 
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OK, great. I thought it would be, but I thought it best to double check.

When it comes to bricking up again (this time with proper ventilation) would you tooth the new bricks into the existing bricks? Or would you not bother?

Also, I want to put a radiator on this wall once it is finished. Obviously I can't block the vent with the radiator, so I am wondering where to put the air vent. Currently I am thinking of putting on the same level as the skirting board, and then stopping the skirting board either side of the vent. Is it okay to have the air vent so low to the floor?
 
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