TOWN OF WALLKILL — Several area fire companies were called to the scene of a fire that began in the chimney of a local landscaping business on Saturday afternoon.

Howells Fire Chief Brandyn Howell said firefighters were called to the chimney fire at 855 Route 211 West at about 2:50 p.m.

The building houses To The Max Landscaping LLC, according to Orange County property records.

The fire temporarily shut down a small section of Route 211 West near the business.

By the time crews arrived, the fire had spread a short distance through the walls surrounding the chimney, Howell said. The fire was contained by about 3:20 p.m.

Nobody was hurt. Howell was unsure how many people may have been inside when the fire went out of control.

The cause is under investigation by the Orange County Fire Investigation Unit.

Middletown, Mechanicstown, Circleville, Otisville, New Hampton, Silver Lake, Westbrookville and Washington Heights fire departments assisted Howells at the scene.

Orange County Deputy Fire Coordinator Fred Theadore said at the scene that people should remember to clean their chimneys, stoves and any type of heating appliance before using them.

His warning came as some of this fall's first snowflakes fell in the area on Saturday.

"Everything should be cleaned once a year," Theadore said. "You get soot buildup in there over a year of burning in it and it sits there and gets hard and doesn't blow out. You have to clean it."