Friday, January 29, 2010 - 8:38am
The residents of 13 Cavendish Court are safe after fire caused $50,000 damage to their eastside home this morning. Two people and the family dog were home when they noticed a fire in the clothes dryer. They called 9-1-1 and then exited the house, closing several doors behind them. This helped limit the spread of fire and smoke into other rooms and areas of the house.
The Madison Fire Department responded at 9:45 AM. When the fire attack crew entered the basement they found very smoky conditions. They searched through the smoke, located the fire, and quickly extinguished it. Other crews searched the home for any occupants and ventilated smoke from the building.
No injuries were reported at the fire scene. Investigators confirmed that the fire started in the clothes dryer, but have not determined what caused the fire.
Firefighters remind everyone of these safety tips:
• Clean the lint screen/filter before or after drying each load of clothes.
• Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct periodically.
• Check the outside dryer vent while the dryer is operating to make sure exhaust air is escaping.
• Clean behind the dryer, where lint can build up.
• Keep the area around the dryer clean and free of clutter.
• Replace plastic or foil, accordion-type ducting material with rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct. The flexible plastic or foil type duct can more easily trap lint and is more susceptible to kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the airflow.
• Do not dry clothing/fabric on which there is anything flammable. This includes alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers, dry-cleaning solvents, finishing oils or stains, etc. Flammable substances give off vapors that could ignite or explode.
• Turn the dryer off when leaving the home.
• Have gas-powered dryers inspected by a professional regularly to ensure that the gas line and connection are intact.
• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, in each bedroom, and outside each bedroom. Interconnected smoke alarms will make sure the alarm is heard throughout the home.
• Test your smoke alarms every month.
• Have an escape plan and have fire drill twice a year.
• When the alarm sounds, get out and stay out.
• After you have escaped, call 9-1-1 from a safe place.
• Never go back inside the building for any reason.
- Eric Dahl, 608-279-7148