Dan, I would agree but perhaps you missed seeing that Marti was asking about particle board and not solid wood. Since the particle board is put together under heat and pressure to cure the glue, I would be concerned that it would lot hold up like real wood would. Also, the products of combustion may contain a lot of chemicals that are much worse for you than anything the chemical stripping would have.
With particle board being more splintery than solid wood, or at least the chipboard or flakeboard that she also could have, you have handling and kindling problems that are worse than for solid wood.
Stick with the sanding, but take adequate precautions if the house is older than from 1972 because lead paint may have been used. Actually, I would probably just cut as much new wood as I could easily replace, if this were my project.