fireplace chimney

I have both an upstairs and downstairs fireplace which share the same basic chimney structure. Internally there are two separate terracotta liners, the one for the lower fireplace has a jog where it angles over below the upper one. While the upper fireplace chimney is in good shape, the lower has apparently suffered a chimney fire at some point and the liner tiles were badly cracked. I got all set to run a stainless flex liner down it to vent a woodburning insert when the damaged liner collapsed into a pile of rubble down inside the chimney. What are my options here as far as removing the demolished liner? The brick structure is sound, so if I can get the old tile liner out, I can use an insulated flex liner and be good to go, and legal too. One additional challenge is that the clay liner for the upstairs fireplace shares the same cavity in the brick structure so I have to take care not to damage it.
I've contemplated mounting an air chisel to a pipe and adding sections as I go down, carefully jackhammering the liner pieces up into bits that can fall down the flue and be swept out. I tested the chisel on a section of the stuff I got out and it demolishes it almost effortlessly.
I also considered cutting out a brick or two from the side to get in there and break the stuff out, then patching up the bricks. That side of the house is not visible so it doesn't have to look perfect, but I don't want to compromise the structural integrity. Since the brick work is in good shape, this is a last resort.
Any creative ideas? Unfortunately calling in a pro is out of the question right now, but then I've never needed one for anything else so why start now.
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On Wed, 10 Dec 2008 12:40:58 -0800, James Sweet

I would suggest contacting a local professional to do an on site inspection and recommendation. This is not something that you can guess at, unless you like the idea of a fire and likely have your insurance invalided if you failed to follow local codes.
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"James Sweet" wrote

None really as you are out of my league here, but I'd like to hear how it goes?
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