Some homeowners will want to turn on their fireplace believing that since the animal got in by itself, it will get out as well. This is extremely inhumane as the babies are often too young to climb the chimney, and will slowly burn to death as a result. The mother raccoon will do everything she can to save her babies, and most of the time she will die in the fire as well.
If you think you have raccoons in your chimney, our best advice is to close the damper tightly until you can reach a qualified Wildlife Technician. Our technicians are skilled at removing raccoon families from your chimney. If you have a mother raccoon with babies, sometimes we will use eviction fluid to try to make the mother move her babies on her own. However, this will not always work so sometimes trapping is the only way to go.
And please, do not open your damper no matter what. The raccoons may have nested on top of the damper, not realizing that it can be opened. Opening your damper could dump a terrified, soot-covered raccoon into your living room, and you can just imagine the mess that would make!