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HELP: 2" clearance around masonry fireplace

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I have a large custom home under construction here in the desert. The framed
patio cover is constructed around a large masonry fireplace. The main girder
supporting the roof framing would pass through the fireplace chimney so I
designed the beams (a Parallam) to bear on each side of the fireplace using
a typical Simpson GLB Beam Seat's. The inspector will not accept this as he
claims there must be 2" clearance between the wood and masonry. I suppose I
can create the clearance above and on the sides of the beam but obviously
not below.
I also don't understand the danger of the connection since the firebox is
lined masonry and there is no direct heat source to the wood.  I would
understand if the fire came from in front of the fireplace as I can see the
heat and smoke working up the face of the fireplace.

Can anyone clarify this code requirement that the inspector is adamant
about. I am not aware of it. If this is the case, what alternatives do I

Dennis S. Wish, PE
Structural Engineering Consultant
structures(--nospam--at) <mailto:structures(--nospam--at)>
(208) 361-5447 E-Fax