I recently bought a house with a gas fireplace. The house was built in 1997 in Texas. The fireplace damper is stuck open and I can't figure out how to fix it - I had a look and it doesn't appear to be rusted, which I've heard is the most common cause.
I have attached 2 photos - one where you can see the pole/pull attached (which I believe is the bottom of the damper) and the other which I think is the top of the damper. As far as I can tell there is a plate attached to the top of the damper which is getting stuck against a ridge/lip in the chimney. What surprised me is that it looks like maybe 1/4 of an inch worth of a lip that is blocking it - almost as if that plate was added to block it in the open position? There is also a strange clamp attached to that side, which I have no idea why it's there or if it should be there.
I haven't tried anything other than yanking down really hard on the pole/pull and also sticking my hands in there to try and push that plate past the lip. I don't want to try too much brute force since I don't have experience with this.
Any advice greatly appreciated.