When I bought my house (it was bank owned and empty for 2 years), the home inspector said that we had a gas fireplace insert, and not a "real" wood burning fireplace. We do not have gas service in this neighborhood, nor could we get it if we wanted it, so there is no pilot and no gas line to worry about.
My question is, is it ok to burn wood in this fireplace? There is a flue that goes up through the second floor and out the roof.
There is a small amount of creosote buildup, so I can tell it's been used before but either was installed shortly before the house was siezed by the bank or was not used extensively, however the home inspector told us that we should keep fires "small" since it "probably" couldn't handle the temperatures of burning wood.
We have yet to build a fire in it because the home inspector sounded rather unsure, and we don't know if he was just covering his butt from liability, or if it would actually be dangerous to light a fire. We also have no idea what it means to keep a fire "small" in a fireplace.
I'd really appreciate some guidance on this, I'd like to enjoy my fireplace if it's at all possible! Hopefully without the cost and hassle of installing a tank outside.