Having two handfired units I try to keep at least one going all the time, but have found that even the Franco Belge after a couple days needs to be 'let go' and dies out. This routine requires alot of start-ups from cold after a good grate cleanout. Leave the old half burn coal as a bed for the new wood fire.
Now being an expert 'piro', I always use Kero , about a two second squirt onto the kindling and sheet of news paper. Never a problem , and always a good hot fire. Nothings worst then starting a fire and having it smother and having to open the door back up and smoke out the place!
Another tip here. For starter wood , I found that used oak hardwood flooring works great. Cut the pieces into 8 to 10in lengths, avoid the old nails. Split into stick size pieces, I still got all 10 fingers!
I picked up about 800 sq foot of the stuff that was gonna be sent to the dumpster! Stacked up neatly in the back of the gragage. I figure I got a 10 year supplier once processed!