Dryer Fire Articles (2004)

Attained from searching news related articles in an attempt to drive home the importance of dryer exhaust maintenance.

Dryer Fire Information - Lint Buildup and Improper Venting Create a Real Hazard
Dryer lint blamed for Southeastside house fire - By Kristi Tedesco, KVOA Tuczon, AZ (12/24/2004)

Fire gutted a Tucson home Thursday night. You might be surprised to hear, the family dryer is to blame. The Tucson Fire Department works about half a dozen dryer fires every month. Firefighters say the big problem is the lint. Even if you clean the lint tray, some of it always escapes into the machine. It's a highly flammable material that caught fire Thursday night in a Southeastside home. There was $40,000 damage. According to the Tucson Fire Department Chief, Randy Ogden, "The lint caught on fire, went into the hose and got into the bed where the clothes are." Eyewitness News 4 went to Home Depot for tips on dryer fire safety. We found out that you can help prevent this type of fire by using a fire resistant exterior hose. It looks like aluminum foil. Fire Captain Paul McDonough says you should "have a nice, clear opening. If (the hose is) not as straight as possible, and it has to turn, then things like that lint can get stuck around the corners and that creates a fire hazard." The supervisor at Home Depot says that you should monitor your dryer like any other electrical appliance. Terry Dee says, "You wouldn't put a turkey in your oven and leave the house. Good advice would be... Don't throw a load of laundry in your dryer and then leave the house." Experts say that you should clean the lint out of your dryer and vents once or twice a year. If you don't want to do it yourself, it's recommended you call a professional.  

10 Children, 3 Adults Escape House Fire- By First Coast News (12/21/2004)

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Ten children and three adults had to stay at a neighbor's home after a fire broke out in their home on the Northside last night. Fire investigators say the fire started because of "lint" left in the dryer. Everyone was able to get out of the house okay. The children in the home range in age from 10-months to 14-years old. Firefighters were able to give them a bag of toys they had collected. Investigators say the fire caused $20,000 worth of damage.

Busy 2 days for L.B. firefighters - Monday blazes could have been prevented - By PressTelegram.com (12/20/2004)

LONG BEACH - A series of fires kept Long Beach firefighters busy Sunday and Monday, and many of them could have been avoided had proper precautions been taken, authorities warned. The first fire broke out at about 2:45 p.m. Sunday at 15th Street and Redondo Avenue in a detached, single-car garage, said Long Beach Fire Battalion Chief Mike Garcia. A dryer had been running unattended when something went wrong within the burner on the lint screen, Garcia said. Although the Fire Department was able to put the fire down quickly before it could spread to the home, the garage and the brand new Jeep Cherokee inside were destroyed, Garcia said. "This fire underscores the importance of checking and cleaning the lint screen," he said. Shortly after 5 p.m. a second fire started in the living room of an apartment at Second Street and Redondo Avenue. The woman who lives in the apartment noticed the flames as she was standing in a neighbor's apartment, Garcia said. She had left candles burning on a table in the living room and when her Christmas tree fell over, it knocked the candles to the ground, igniting the tree and couch. Firefighters were able to snuff the flames quickly and keep the damage to a minimum, as well as find the woman's two cats, who were unhurt. Garcia said that candles are extremely popular during the holiday season, and residents should remember to extinguish all candles whenever they leave their home. On Monday, firefighters were called to a home in the 50 block of West Pleasant Street in North Long Beach after a fire started in a crawl space above the garage. Family members called 911 after the father returned home from taking some of his kids to school and noticed the flames, said Firefighter Paul Rodriguez. Remaining family members were able to get out of the house safely, but the father suffered some first-degree burns when he tried to put out the fire with a garden hose, Rodriguez said. He was treated at the scene for his injuries. Later on Monday, a fire in an apartment destroyed a family's Christmas presents. When crews arrived at 6043 Linden Ave., there was thick smoke and heavy flames burning inside the home. Although they were able to squelch the blaze fairly quickly, all of the family's presents were destroyed. "Everything they saved up for is gone." Rodriguez said. "The Red Cross was dispatched to provide shelter for the night, and we're going to see what we can do to get some toys for Christmas through our Spark of Love campaign." 

Accidental ignition results in lint fire - By D.R. Bahlman, The Berkshire Eagle (11/10/2004)

PITTSFIELD, MA -- A plumber's accidental ignition of dryer lint started a fire that caused smoke damage throughout a house on Pinto Drive yesterday morning. The lint was set alight as the plumber, who was not identified in Fire Department reports, replaced a water shutoff valve at 11 Pinto Drive, a house owned by John Berger. The fire extended up the wall of the laundry room to the ceiling before it was located and extinguished, officials said. The plumber suffered "minor" smoke inhalation, for which he did not require medical treatment yesterday, said Deputy Fire Chief Kenneth Spaniol. No other injuries were reported in the fire, which was reported at 9:28 a.m.

Clothes dryer sparks fire on Olive Street - By Columbia Daily Tribune (10/29/2004)

A defective clothes dryer is suspected of a sparking house fire Wednesday afternoon at 2605 Olive Street in northeast Columbia. Firefighters suppressed fire coming from a window at the rear of the house within three to five minutes, Battalion Chief Steve Sapp said in a news release. The occupants told investigators that earlier in the afternoon they had dried some clothes and that the machine began to smoke. They turned it off, checked for fire and opened doors and windows to clear the smoke. Believing that there was no longer any fire, they then left the residence to run errands. When they returned about 30 to 45 minutes later, they discovered the fire and called 911. No injuries were reported, but the fire spread to the kitchen and created heat and smoke damage throughout the home.

Dryer fire causes smoke damage - By Kate Sullivan Foley/ Correspondent (09/24/2004)

A burned out dryer sitting outside 19 School Ave. told the story of a dinnertime fire Monday night. A call reporting the one-alarm fire came into the Stoughton Fire Department at 5:50 p.m., according to Stoughton Fire Department's Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Campbell. Because the original 911 call was placed from a cell phone, the call went directly to the state police. The state police immediately referred the call to Stoughton, but according Campbell, respond time was slightly impeded. "People need to be aware that there is a delay involved in dialing 911 from a cell phone," said Campbell. "If at all possible, one should go to a neighbor's house and call 911. The call comes directly to Stoughton and any delay is avoided." Residents inside the two-apartment home were alerted to the fire by smoke detectors. Everyone was able to get out of the home before firefighters arrived and there were no injuries. "The families were very fortunate in this because the fire didn't extend further due to the early notification from the smoke alarms," said Campbell. The fire was confined to the dryer but caused extensive smoke damage throughout the house. Campbell added that the fire appeared to be accidental, but is still under investigation by Stoughton Fire Department.

Two Die In Local Mobile Home Fire - Officials Say A Dryer Caught Fire - By WXII12.com (07/21/2004)

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- Two people died in an early morning fire Wednesday in Rockingham County. The fire gutted a mobile home in a rural area off Highway 220. Kendall Tilley, 34, and Christopher McClemore, 22, were both killed. Deputies said a dryer, which contained too much lint, caught fire. Investigators said they are not sure if smoke detectors were working in the house. Tilley has an 8-year-old daugher. She was not home at the time of the fire, according to investigators.

Proper dryer maintenance prevents fires - By Jessica Beym, For the Cherry Hill Courier Post (06-27-2004)

Lint buildup and improper venting are safety hazards. The odds may be in your favor. But using that as an excuse to not properly maintain your clothes dryer could have devastating - even fatal - consequences, experts say. "Most of the time, it'll never happen," said Rocky Ferrara, owner of Appliance Rescue Service in West Deptford. "But if there's a malfunction in the dryer and it overheats, or if the heating coil goes bad, it could ignite the lint and you'll have big problems." About 15,500 fires each year are sparked by dryer-related causes, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They result in an average of 10 deaths, 310 injuries and more than $84 million in property damage. Two such incidents happened in South Jersey last month. Lint buildup in the exhaust line of a clothes dryer sparked a house fire in Woodbury, and an 8-year-old boy died in a Burlington City house fire that authorities also say started in a dryer. The two most common problems are lint buildup and improper venting, said Scott Wolfson, spokesman for the CPSC. Heated air in the dryer picks up moisture from the clothes, as well as lint, and carries it through a vent to be released outside. If the lint screen and vents are not properly maintained, the flow of hot air can become blocked and possibly cause a fire. Lint accumulates on a dryer's components even after one use, experts say. Ferrara said he and his repair crews have seen their share of close calls while doing routine maintenance, with some dryers having 1-inch-thick layers of lint throughout the appliance. The location of the dryer and how it is vented also can affect its safety. If it is in the basement, a fire could get into the walls and go undetected, said William Rieger, Gloucester County's fire marshal. Many household dryers are located in laundry rooms in the center of the house. In order to release the hot air, the ductwork has to be longer with possibly more twists and turns, which increases the chance of lint buildup, experts say. All-metal vents or ducts help direct the airflow outside the home more efficiently then flexible vents. Plastic, vinyl or aluminum ducts are flammable and can trap lint in crevices, according to Underwriters Laboratories, which tests and certifies dryers and other appliances. Another problem is that most laundry rooms are filled with combustible items such as cleaning fluids, Rieger said. Clothing soiled by flammable material, such as cooking oil, also can be dangerous, Rieger said. The flammable material can emit vapors that can ignite when it comes in contact with the heat of a dryer. "In most cases, people just don't know what to do," Ferrara said. DRYER SAFETY Clean the lint filter before or after each use. Wipe away lint that has accumulated around the drum. Do not leave the dryer running when you are not there. Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is unobstructed and the outdoor vent flap opens readily. Keep combustible items such as cleaning fluids away from the outside of the dryer. Have your dryer vents inspected and cleaned annually. ,7 Source: National Fire Protection Association THERE MAY BE A PROBLEM IF . . . Your dryer is noisier than usual. Clothes are taking longer than usual to dry. Clothes feel hotter than usual at the end of a cycle.

Dryer lint triggers home fire - By Carrie Watters, Rockford Register Star (06/26/2004)

LOVES PARK -- A family escaped unharmed when fire erupted in their basement Friday afternoon, but a woman suffered minor injuries when her car collided with a television cameraman's vehicle apparently leaving the scene. Events started around 1 p.m. Friday when fire sparked in the basement of a home in the 900 block of Merrill Avenue. The dryer had stopped, and when homeowner Carol Niday restarted it, flames shot out, apparently caused by lint buildup that caused the dryer to overheat, said Loves Park Fire Department Chief Phil Foley. Niday reported the fire. Flames were coming out the basement windows when firefighters arrived, Foley said. Niday escaped uninjured. Her husband Don and three teenage children arrived home to find a house filled with firefighters. Firefighters helped rescue two of three cats, Kiki and Dolly. The Niday children cried as Daren was carried from the home. The cat was in the basement and did not survive.

Firefighters respond to two blazes - By Casper Star Tribune  (06/25/2004)

The Casper Fire Department responded to two structure fires on Thursday morning, according to a news release from the fire department. Fire destroyed a detached shed and its contents at 1137 Elma Street about 9 a.m. Twenty minutes later, city fire units were called to 4360 Valley Drive about reports of a dryer on fire in the basement of the residence. The fire was contained to the dryer, which ignited because of a buildup of lint in the dryer vent, officials said. The Casper Fire department reminds people to clean dryer vents to prevent lint buildup, which can cause fires.

Dryer left running causes house fire- By News 14 Carolina  (06/25/2004) 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A dryer left running overnight sparked a house fire on Sharon Amity Road that caused $30,000 in damages Friday morning. The fire started just before 5 a.m. Firefighters were able to put the fire out quickly, and no one was injured. The woman living in the home smelled smoke and saw flames coming from the back of the house. She got out and called 911. Firefighters say the fire started in the dryer. The fire caused $30,000 in damages. "Sometimes it's not the best idea to go to bed with the dryer on," said Battalion Chief Tom Link, who went on to say that people should also be careful not to leave the oven or stove on after cooking in the evening. "If you do any type of cooking you need to make sure everything is off before you go to bed," he said. "While you're cooking, carry a potholder or wooden spoon in your back pocket to let you know you have something in the kitchen you need to take care of before you go to bed."

Overnight fire destroys Kentwood mobile home - Kentwood MI (06/24/2004)

An overnight fire has destroyed a home in Kentwood. The fire ripped through the mobile home in the 4900 block of Madison around midnight. It appears the trouble started in the dryer; although, investigators are trying to determine what sparked that fire. There were people in the home at the time of the fire. They were able to make it out okay.

Ohio man dies in afternoon house fire - By David E. Malloy, The Herald-Dispatch  (06/19/2004)

ROCK CAMP, Ohio - A 68-year-old Lawrence Township man was killed in a fatal fire Thursday afternoon. Charles Gill Brace Jr. of 4217 County Road 6 never made it out of his two-story brick house when a fire broke out about 3:08 p.m. Thursday. Fire officials found his body in the basement of his home a little after 1 a.m. Friday. Brace was well known to a number of people in the county. He delivered milk for his father’s dairy to hundreds of people in Coal Grove and in rural Lawrence County, said Juanita Markel, a Coal Grove resident who graduated with him in 1955 at Coal Grove. With his Tennessee walker horse, Brace was also a familiar figure at the Lawrence County Fair. "He was one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet," said County Commissioner George Patterson. "We’d talk to him three or four times a week." Brace worked for a time at Western Southern Life, but spent much of his time in recent years restoring antique furniture, Markel said. The cause of the fire is undetermined and remains under investigation, said Bob Lawless, a state fire marshal. Brace’s wife, Sandra, made it out of the house with the help of a neighbor, he said. Lawrence Township Fire Chief Phil Hardy said the fire probably started in a clothes dryer in the basement. "He was probably overcome by smoke and toxic fumes," Hardy said. Volunteer fire departments from Lawrence, Aid and Perry Township and the village of Coal Grove responded to the blaze. There were about 35 firefighters at the scene, Hardy said. A Perry Township tanker truck responding to the fire call overturned several miles from the scene and sustained considerable damage, said Larry Anderson, an assistant chief. The fire truck was about 25 years old, he said. No one was hurt in the accident, he said.

Firefighters douse condo fire quickly - By Billy Bruce, Staff Writer Marco Island Eagle (06/16/2004)

Responders alerted by Somerset's alarm system. It took three local departments just nine minutes to extinguish a fire in an unoccupied unit at the Somerset Condominiums on June 14, Marco Fire Department Lt. Donnie Jones said. The fire began in a washer and dryer at 10:50 a.m. and was under control by 10:59 a.m. Seven firefighters from Marco Island, four from Isles of Capri and four from East Naples responded to the scene at 780 S. Collier Blvd., Jones said. Residents who live in unit 209, where the fire occurred, were out of town. The condominium's use of updated alarm technology helped protect Somerset's residents from what could have been a much more serious situation, Jones said. Somerset has 112 living units in 10 stories with a penthouse on top. The fire started in a kitchen area inside a laundry closet where the washer and dryer were located, Jones said. Although enclosed in a closet, the fire sent enough heat to the kitchen ceiling to set off the automatic sprinkler. That, in turn, turned on a water pump that set off a flow alarm. The flow alarm activated an automatic dialer that sends location information to 911 emergency control in Naples, Jones said. Firefighters and condominium management evacuated residents as a precaution, Jones said. "When firefighters arrived, the smoke had banked all the way down to the floor in the unit, so they really couldn't see until they ventilated the place," Jones said. "The flames didn't burn through any walls, and the fire stayed pretty much on the appliances. The washer and dryer were a total loss." No injuries were reported in the fire. Three condo units suffered smoke damage and one unit had water damage from the sprinkler's flow, Jones said. "Had the sprinkler been located in a better location in the kitchen, it may have been able to put this fire out before we ever got there," Jones said. "Fortunately, the alarm systems worked well." Marco Island fire Marshal John Burback and two Marco fire inspectors were trying to determine the damage estimate, Jones said.

Pooch earns high praise after house blaze - By Dena Sloan, Globe Staff Writer (06/12/2004)

GOODMAN, Mo. - Jennifer Patrick wasn't thrilled the day her niece gave her family Oddie, a small, excitable, mixed-breed dog that doesn't always exert total control over her bladder. Two months later, Patrick swears she'll treat Oddie like a queen. The little dog was the first one awake early Thursday morning as flames tore through the small frame house Patrick shared with her four children, ages 5 through 14. Oddie woke up Cella, Patrick's 5-year-old daughter, who roused her mother from bed. Moments later, the family members were standing outside the house at 20751 Gateway Drive in their pajamas, watching fire demolish almost everything they owned. "It's the most devastating feeling, standing in your yard watching your house burn down," Patrick said Friday. Fire departments from Goodman, Neosho and Seneca responded to the fire about 3:30 a.m. Thursday. Officials believe the fire broke out around a dryer in the house's utility room. Smoke was still rising from the heap late Friday morning as swings on a nearby swing set rocked gently in the wind. A small above-ground pool and plastic toys were still in the yard. Neighbors said the flames lit the sky as they watched firetrucks race to the scene. "It was burning so hot, I don't know how they got it out," said Al Schleuter, who could see the fire from the front porch of his home at 20872 Gateway Drive. Though almost all of the family's belongings were destroyed - some items were stored in another small building on the property - Patrick said it's hard to accept donations. As a single parent, she's used to taking care of her family by herself. But she knows she needs to get used to accepting the gifts and contributions that friends have been offering. An offer of furniture recently came in from Joplin, relatives immediately rounded up extra clothing, and strangers have taken Patrick's contact information with promises of help. Friday brought a small delight - money from her father to buy her own shoes. "You don't realize how many friends you have until something happens," she said. "They've just been calling out of the woodwork." Patrick was five years away from paying off her now-destroyed house, and she carried only the minimum required insurance, which won't cover the cost of their belongings. Regardless, Patrick said she feels lucky that she and her children were able to get out of the house with plenty of time to spare. "I guess God knew we could live without that house, but we couldn't live without each other," she said.

Lucky to be alive - By Roland Hughes Bangor Mail, North Wales (06/09/2004)

A FIRE alarm engineer has been branded a hero after saving his neighbors from a blaze in their home in the early hours. Only through chance was Mali Davies at hand to rescue Ronnie and Linda Roberts from their fire-hit home last weekend. Mali fought his way through acrid smoke in the kitchen to wake the couple, who say they would have died without his and friends' help. A tumble dryer has been blamed for the fire, which spilled out toxic fumes into the bottom floor of the house in Orme View, Bangor. Mali and friends Jason Clark and Wayne Hughes were at the back of his house, drinking in the early hours, when they smelled smoke........ Fire Service press officer Bethan Davies said: "If there had been a smoke alarm, then the occupiers would have been alerted sooner, and a call to the Fire and Rescue Service made earlier. "We are encouraging all occupiers to install at least one smoke alarm in their property and maintain it regularly by testing the battery once a week and changing it at least once a year."  Article shorted for this page viewing.

Fire inflicts $400,000 damage on Atwater house - By Cheri Carlson Merced, Sun-Star (06/07/2004)

ATWATER -- "Get everyone out of the house." That was Victor Herrera's first thought when he smelled smoke inside his Atwater home Sunday evening. And that's just what he did. He got his daughter and three other children living in the home outside, then called 911 from his cell phone. The call came in at 5:49 p.m., and both the Merced County and Atwater City fire departments responded to the home on Rene Court. Seven engines, two water tenders and 20 firefighters fought the flames as dozens of neighbors crowded lawns and driveways nearby. Herrera stood across the street from his home of two years, next to his daughter. They watched the fire consume their house, where the family also runs a child day-care service. The roof was destroyed and the interior gutted within an hour of the fire starting. No one was injured in the blaze and firefighters said it was contained by 7 p.m., even though they continued to fight small fires inside the residence. Mark Lawson, fire captain specialist with Merced County, said damages would be about $400,000. Firefighters saved the neighboring homes and an auto parked outside. Also saved was the family dog, Lilo, tied up in the back yard. The cause of the fire is under investigation, Lawson said, but Herrera said he believes the fire started in the dryer. From there, it spread quickly, aided by wind and an empty attic. Jessica Esau was driving nearby when she saw the gray smoke hanging above the neighborhood. A pet groomer, Esau has previously taken in dogs and cats in emergencies, and said she drove over to Rene Court just in case the family needed her help. It turned out they did. Esau will board Lilo until the family can take him back. Herrera said he wasn't sure what he and the rest of his family would do. Eight people live in the large home, neighbors said, though not all of them were in town Sunday. Some of his neighbors offered Herrera, his daughter and the three children a place to stay. The Red Cross also was expected to provide aid.

Home gutted by fire - By Robert Moore, Citizen Tribune Staff Writer (05/25/2004)

Hamblen County volunteer firefighters could do little more than stand and watch as a fire raged through a home on Wylie Miller Road in the Southern Heights subdivision early Monday afternoon. A low-income extended family of five is homeless and destitute today after a catastrophic fire destroyed their home in the Southern Heights subdivision of Hamblen County Monday afternoon. "We were about to lose the house, and now this happens," said bleary-eyed homeowner Charles Stephens as he watched his house burn from a neighbor's porch. Stephens says his wife, son, grandson and niece he's raising subsist on two monthly disability checks of $564. His wife, Brenda, says she has no valid reason to believe they have fire insurance. She says they'd been making partial payments on fire insurance, but the last partial payment was approximately four months late. "We had some money problems," said Brenda Stephens, who added she and her husband had raised five of her grandchildren and five of her husband's grandchildren. Mrs. Stephens says their clothes dryer, which was stored in the bathroom, caught fire, and the blaze quickly consumed the entire home. She says approximately 15 minutes after she'd put wet clothes into the dryer, a family member smelled smoke. When she opened the bathroom door, she saw flames licking the bathroom ceiling. Mrs. Stephens said the blaze flared when she opened the bathroom door and oxygen blew through the room between the open window and door. "It scared me," she said. "That's the reason I couldn't find the phone. I had to push a button to find my home." She escaped the smoke-filled structure with her life, her family, her purse and nothing else. "I don't even have a pair of shoes," Mrs. Stephens said. "I wasn't able to put them on or nothing." Mr. and Mrs. Stephens and five children escaped unharmed as a plume of black smoke, visible for miles, rose in the sky. All volunteer firefighters could do was prevent the fire from spreading a nearby wooded area and making a terrible situation worse. "When we got here, it was fully involved in flames, shooting through the roof," said Jeff Smith, captain of the South Hamblen County Volunteer Fire Department. A total of approximately 25 firefighters from all four Hamblen County volunteer units were on the scene at the height of the blaze. The Stephens say they plan to live temporarily at Mr. Stephens mother's home on nearby Rippetoe Avenue in the Southern Heights subdivision.

Putnam community comes to deputy's aid- By Terry Corcoran, The Journal News (05/24/2004)

MAHOPAC FALLS - Gerry Damon has always been one to help others, whether on the job as a Putnam County sheriff's deputy or off the job. Last year, on his own time, he came to the aid of a disabled man who was being harassed by five other men. Perhaps, then, it's little surprise that the community is rallying around Damon and his family after they lost their home and possessions in a fire last week. "A fire like this one, one that destroys a family's home and all their possessions, is always a terrible occurrence," Sheriff Donald B. Smith said. "This event has hit our department especially hard because it has happened to one of our own." Smith said that Damon's colleagues in the department are rallying around him and that he has received many calls from residents, business, civic groups and military veterans expressing concern for the family and offering support. Damon, who formed the department's bagpipe band, is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. "The public outpouring has really been heartening," Smith said. As such, friends of the family have established a fund to help the Damons. Those wishing to make a donation may make checks payable to the "Damon Family Fund" and mail them to the Putnam County Sheriff's Police Benevolent Association, P.O. Box 182, Carmel, NY 10512. In addition, Senior Investigator Patrick M. Castaldo said he is trying to set up an oldies show to benefit the Damon family. Castaldo, as an Elvis Presley impersonator who performs with his band, All the King's Men, said planning for the event is in the early stages. "We're trying to get something together for a show," he said. "Deputy Damon is a great guy and it's horrible what happened to him." The fire at the Damons' home off Route 6N in Mahopac Falls started in a clothes dryer and spread through the split-level home. It was reported around 7:38 a.m. May 17, and roughly 35 firefighters from Mahopac Falls, Mahopac and Lake Mohegan spent more than four hours fighting the fire and cleaning up afterward. No one was injured in the blaze.

Dennisport family copes with disaster - By Nicole Muller / nmuller@cnc.com, The Register (05/20/2004)

Fire blamed on clothes dryer. An American flag still flies beside the front door, and a picnic table sits in the back yard. But the home of Jonathan and Shirley Welsh and their 12-year-old daughter Hillery, at 106 School St., West Dennis, was destroyed by fire in the early morning hours last Thursday. The fire started in a clothes dryer in the basement. The family escaped unharmed, but lost one of their three dogs in the blaze and another was euthanized after suffering lung damage. The family's cat, Bailey, escaped by jumping out a window. An indoor pet, his homing instincts brought him back to the house later that morning. Except for singed fur, Bailey was unharmed. The Dennis Fire Department received the 911 call at 11:48 p.m., and the police were notified at 11:53 p.m. Wednesday, May 12. "I could smell the fire even before I passed the West Dennis Congregational Church [on Route 28]," said acting Chief of Police Bill Monahan. "That told me it was a major fire." Dennis Fire Inspector Bob Tucker says the source of the fire was quickly traced to a clothes dryer. "Shirley said she was using the dryer about 11:30 p.m., and about 20 minutes later Jonathan noticed smoke coming from under the basement door. Shirley said she heard a crackling sound, and when Jonathan opened the cellar door and saw an orange glow, he grabbed Hillery out of her bed and helped her out the door. A neighbor called 911." The Dennis Fire Department was short-staffed at the time because of a medical emergency on the west side. "We called Yarmouth and Harwich for assistance because of the magnitude of the fire. It was a difficult fire to fight because of the contents of the basement and the house. He [Jonathan] worked on motorcycles, so there were lots of combustible materials in the house," Tucker said. The fire quickly rose to the first floor, destroying most of the home's contents, although a few antiques and collectibles were salvaged. "The clothes dryer had lint buildup and was improperly vented. We couldn't identify the type or make of the dryer because it was so old," Tucker said. "And there were no batteries in the smoke detectors." Jonathan Welsh's mother, Marjorie, said Monday that her son has just finished a seven-year bout with lung cancer. "It's a tragedy, and they have no insurance, which makes it even worse," she said. "Jonathan wasn't working because of his lung disease. Shirley's mother, Margaret Hallet, owns the house, which has no mortgage, and my son couldn't afford homeowner's insurance." One of Welsh's brothers came from Rhode Island and another from Mashpee to help board up the house. "My daughter, Susie, came from Woonsocket and handed me $500 to give to Jonathan. She isn't rich, but she felt she had to help her brother," Marjorie said. Jonathan Welsh, friends and family spent Sunday and Monday sifting through the debris, searching for any salvageable belongings. "There's not much left of our lives," he said. "But we still have each other, and for that, we are grateful." Members of the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Harwich have reached out to the family with donations. The Red Cross supplied vouchers for the Welshes to stay four nights at the Ramada Inn in Hyannis. Monday, the family moved into a cottage on Marjorie Welsh's property in Harwich.

Dryer fire leads to $30,000 damages - By News-Messenger Reports (04/28/2004)

A Jackson Township house received about $30,000 in damages after a clothes dryer caught fire Tuesday afternoon. The fire occurred at 3:02 p.m. Tuesday at 3521 Sandusky County Road 23. Jo Cooney is listed as the caller who reported the fire and the Sandusky County Rural Directory lists Fred Cooney as living at that address, but the official fire report listing the owner of the house was not available and attempts to call the Cooneys' telephone number were unsuccessful. Helena Fire Chief Steve Shull said no one was injured in the blaze. No one was inside the house when it caught fire -- the homeowner had just arrived when the fire was called in, Shull said. He was uncertain of the name of the homeowner. The fire report was handled by the Kansas Fire Department. Shull said Kansas Fire was the first to arrive at the scene, followed by Shull and another Helena firefighter. "We were working only about a mile away," Shull, who is a home builder, said. "There was heavy smoke." Bettsville and additional Helena firefighters also assisted at the scene. Crews were there for about an hour and a half. Shull said there was damage to the utility room, living room and heavy smoke and heat damage throughout the house.

Fires quickly contained - By Eric A. Howald of the Keizertimes (03/26/2004)

Crews were dispatched to a house fire at 1125 Springwood Drive N.E. The fire was reported at 9:45 a.m. by Rebecca Morris, one of the owners, who had returned from an outing to find the home filled with smoke. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find Morris standing in the front yard with the family dog, and light smoke coming from the home. "My partner and I were the first ones inside and we went upstairs because that was where the smoke was heaviest. We went all the way to the attic and were feeling the walls but couldn't find a source of heat," said Trett. The source of the smoke was soon determined to be a dryer located in a utility room at the base of the stairs leading to the second floor. "The smoke came right from the dryer and up the stairs so it threw us," said Trett. Morris' husband, Mark, arrived as the fire was being extinguished and said his wife had called him at work. "I flew down Lancaster to get home," he said. The fire was confined to the dryer, which was removed from the home while crews ventilated the remaining smoke from the structure. Morris said she thought that she had turned the dryer off before leaving home.  No damage estimate was available.

Clayton NC Dental Center Fire Ruled Accidental - By WRAL Channel 5, Raleigh NC - Gloria Lopez and Kelcey Carlson (02/04/2004)

CLAYTON, N.C. -- For the fourth time since Sunday, crews in Johnston County are investigating a fire at a Clayton business. However, they ruled a fire at a dental center as accidental. The fire at the Clayton Dental Center started in the rear of the building and spread quickly, according to officials. The structure is a total loss. Crews responded to the fire at the Clayton Dental Center on Highway 42 south of Clayton just after 1 a.m. Wednesday. Officials said the fire started in a dryer vent in the rear of the building and spread quickly. "I just keep thinking a little piece of lint caused all this damage. It does seem bizarre, but they say that's probably what happened," said co-owner Dr. Jeff Calamos. More than 40 firefighters worked to battle the blaze. Witnesses said flames shot as high as the power lines. Clayton's fire chief Lee Barbee said the structure is a total loss. Marsh said more than 2,000 patient records are backed up on on its computer system. A Raleigh office's files are also tied into the Clayton office's system. Damage is estimated at $1 million.

Family homeless after fire - By J. Eric Eckard, Rocky Mount Telegram (01/21/2004)

A Rocky Mount family was burned out of their home this past weekend after their dryer caught fire, spreading the blaze throughout their house. No one was hurt in the fire, which occurred Friday at the home of Lee and Kim Barnes on Old Forge Road. Lee Barnes is the youth director at First United Methodist Church in Rocky Mount, and the couple has three children, ages 7 months, 3 and 5. "Clothes dryers are among the most common types of equipment involved in home fires, third behind stoves and heating appliances," said Phillip Davis, fire prevention specialist at the Rocky Mount Fire Department. Kim Barnes and her children were home at the time of the fire, and all four escaped without injury after the smoke detector alerted them of the blaze, fire officials said. The fire spread through the kitchen, hallway and bedrooms, destroying most of the one-story house. It took about 45 minutes for firefighters to bring the blaze under control. "The whole house sustained heavy smoke and fire damage," a fire department spokesman said. Davis said that Rocky Mount averages about one dryer fire a month. "Lack of cleaning and maintenance is the No. 1 reason for these fires," he added. "Always clean the lint filter before each use, and clean away any lint that accumulates around the drum. "And don't leave the house or go to sleep with the dryer running. When they're unattended, that's when the danger occurs." The Barnes' church now is trying to help the family, who lost all their belongings in the blaze. The Barnes family is renting a house owned by a former church member, and some donations already have come in. But the family still needs furniture, household items, appliances and children's items. Monetary donations can be mailed to First United Methodist Church, 100 South Church St., Rocky Mount, NC 27804, or a list of items needed and contact people can be viewed at www.firstmethodistrm.org. "Sometimes, we take for granted that our home appliances will work safely as they should, but we need to take care of these devices to keep them safe," Davis said.

Christmas Nightmare for Pierce City Family- By KOLR10 News, Springfield, MO (01/2004)

Holiday celebrations end abruptly for a Pierce City family that loses everything in a fire. A Pierce City man and his children are now homeless and wondering what could have been done to prevent the blaze. Fire investigators say the dryer sparked the fire and that's not uncommon. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says on average, there are more than 15-thousand dryer fires a year. In 1998 20 people died and nearly 400 were injured as a result of it. Robert Graham's family is alive, but scrambling to get back to normal. "When I first pulled up it was shock. Then I walked in and seen this. They walked up to me and said the Red Cross will be here. I just thought this can't be happening to me," said homeowner. Robert Graham. The shell of Graham's home is standing, but inside there is nothing worth saving. Even the little family Christmas tree melted and memories of holidays past are mush. "I used to videotape them getting up Christmas morning. It's gone. The pictures are gone, " said. Graham. As Graham picked through the mess Sunday he said he was thankful he and his children are safe, but can't believe everything he's worked for is gone. "I bought all this stuff. All paid for. It was a comfortable living now we have to start over from the beginning," said Graham. Graham trying to focus on finding a place to live and helping his children deal with this loss. "My boy took it the worst he's real sensitive. He took it the worst," said Graham. Graham drives truck for a living and is a full time father of a 11 year old son and 13 year old daughter. The father of two does a lot of laundry, but he never knew a dryer that wasn't even on could be a danger. "I wish I could have been here to prevent some of this, " said Graham. Even though every Christmas will remind him of this destruction, Graham says he'll land on his feet and thinks this will make his family trio even tighter. "We've been together nine years on our own. This will make us that much closer we'll all bounce back. It will take some time but we'll be all right," said Graham. Graham's children are staying with friends and family until he finds a rental house, which is hard to come by in Pierce City after the tornado. The family did not have renter's insurance.


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