WRIT TEN BY
Hearth at Home
It is now possible to have fireplaces anywhere, even in code-bound New York City.
Hearth Cabinet may be the perfect example of the
most basic of business principles—find a need and
fulfill it. It all began when product liability attorney Michael Weinberger wanted a fireplace, but
he didn’t have a flue. He researched his options and
discovered that chafing fuel (the same fuel used
beneath warming pans at a banquet) might be the
solution. Typically a mixture of approximately
70 percent alcohol and 30 percent water, the fuel
burns at a low temperature and has few emissions
of any kind. Weinberger discovered that there
were several cartridges on the market, but none
that were aesthetically appealing. So Weinberger
designed his own and approached architect Arthur
Lasky. “He came to us and said, ‘I think I have something I can sell,’” says Lasky, who is now president
of Hearth Cabinet. “‘ What do I do in New York
City?’” Lasky knew that if the design didn’t meet
New York fire and building codes they couldn’t
move forward, so after running tests with a retired
firefighter they took their proposal to the city.
Once it received approval, the team moved forward
with refining the design.
“We made our own chafing fuel and designed
our own cartridge,” says Lasky. Their formula creates a tall, yellow flame and the cartridge design
allows the fire to burn long rather than round.
“We put this inside a metal box and then locked it
behind a rigid screen,” explains Lasky. “This is why
the fire department approved it. If you’re going to
let someone have a fondue pot on a table then you
can allow someone to have the same material in
a locked metal box that’s double-insulated.”
Hearth Cabinet has patented a chafing fuel
mixture that provides a long, yellow flame with
the comforting sound of a crackling fire.
No flue is necessary since the fireplace is ventless
and so few emissions are released from the alcohol
The fireplaces can be installed in any ventilated
room. They are being used in homes and in various
businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, and stores.