Yes, you heard me right. I'm downright sorry for the man. He buys a house for 8 million and change and can't even light a fire in his fireplaces! What is this country coming to! What's the use of being rich?
I don't know when the house was built but for a long time now you need a special permit for wood burning fireplaces and most of the houses built for the last 20 years are gas operated with faux wood for show. I'm not saying that is what they have, but wouldn't be surprised if that were the case.
Another commenter chimes in:
Not only the difference in fireplaces built recently, but there are also restrictions on fireplace usage in CA.
My parents have a woodburning fireplace, and due to air quality restrictions, they aren't allowed to use it whenever they want.
My Grandfather was not covered by the restrictions, but that was because his fireplace was the main heating source for his ancient house.
Now picture this: Gore is sitting in front of his cozy fireplace, toasting his toes, perhaps contemplating a restful massage, and the Fireplace Police drop in and give him a ticket, ruining his pleasant evening. Maybe they even haul him off to jail, poor soul, simply for using his own property in a way that he sees fit.
Our family used to drive down to Florida, sometimes using country roads. A common sight was a large lot with a couple of derelict cars parked in front of a house that hadn't seen a coat of paint in a good long while. Of course this was unsightly. But I'd prefer having the neighbors park their cars in their front yards than have someone tell me what materials I can use to build my house and what color it must be painted--as happens in California! Really and truly! It happened to someone I know.
Of course, around here they have laws against parking trucks in the street, but at least they are not watching the chimney or the electric meter to see if I am improperly heating or cooling my house.
Maybe that's next?