June 18, 2013
Hearth Cabinet: A Fireplace For Every Room
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 fuel cartridge.
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.