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fireplace brick veneer tear out

I have a ranch style house prob built in the 60's. The fireplace is a brick veneer with a 15" stoop (bench?) at the base. The brick runs from floor to ceiling and is about 6' long.
If I were to tear out the brick what might I expect to see? I know the ceiling and wall go behind the brick but don't know how much.
I've seen picts of fireplaces that are placed in the wall with a tile surround. Wondering if there is a problem with stability.

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