Before starting to build a fire, free the grate from ashes. To do this, put on covers, close front and back dampers, and open oven-damper; turn grate, and ashes will fall into the ash receiver. If these rules are not followed, ashes will fly over the room. Turn grate back into place, remove the covers over fire-box, and cover grate with pieces of paper (twisted in centre and left loose at the ends). Cover paper with small sticks, or pieces of pine wood, being sure that the wood reaches the ends of fire-box, and so arranged that it will admit air. Over pine wood arrange hard wood; then sprinkle with two shovelfuls of coal. Put on covers, open closed dampers, strike a match, — sufficient friction is formed to burn the phosphorus, this in turn lights the sulphur, and the sulphur the wood, — then apply the lighted match under the grate, and you have a fire.
Now blacken the stove. Begin at front of range, and work towards the back; as the iron heats, a good polish may be obtained. When the wood is thoroughly kindled, add more coal. A blue flame will soon appear, which is the gas (CO) in the coal burning to carbon deoxide (CO2), when the blue flame changes to a white flame; then the oven-damper should be closed. In a few moments the front damper may be nearly closed, leaving space to admit sufficient oxygen to feed the fire. It is sometimes forgotten that oxygen is necessary to keep a fire burning. As soon as the coal is well ignited, half close the chimney-damper, unless the draft be very poor.