I feel your pain, 3 yrs ago I foolishly made a mistake too. Wife and me finish painting entire first floor of the house. She told me to be extra careful cleaning out the corn stove since it was in living room. Couple days later it was time to clean stove, so out comes the shop vac. Removed the ash pan with no issues and took outside, not a speck of ash to be seen. Smiling with a grin I grab the brush and turn on shop vac to clean exhaust and pan area. Several mins later the room started to get dark like the sun went behind the clouds. To my surprise the vac bag tore inside, and the ash was coming out like a dust storm in the desert. OMG what now, clean it or start packing my bags. Well had to call her at work to explain and all I heard was
..... Weeks later I was still finding black soot... To make a long story short coal stove is in my work shop..