Roommates, have you ever set a freshly-done pile of laundry aside and just forgotten about it for a while? Well, this very practice recently led to a house fire in Burlington, North Carolina!
Toasty Clothes Can Be Dangerous If Left Unattended!
The incident went down in the early hours of Tuesday, November 29. Shortly after midnight, the Burlington Fire Department responded to a fire alert and discovered smoke emanating from a home, according to a press release.
Upon finding that the homeowner was off working, authorities forced their way inside to handle the matter.
“Firefighters forced entry into the home due to the homeowner being at work, located the fire in a bedroom and extinguished it. Searches were also conducted to confirm there were no occupants. It took firefighters approximately 15 minutes to ensure the fire was completely extinguished with no hot spots remaining.”
The statement then addressed the eyebrow-raising cause of the fire: an unattended pile of clothes.
Specifically, the blaze was sparked “due to laundry that had become excessively hot” being left on the bed.
“The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental due to laundry that had become excessively hot from the clothes dryer and were removed from the dryer to the bedroom. The articles of clothing then smoldered subsequently catching other clothing articles and furniture on fire.”
All in all, the fire department reports that there was about $30,000 worth of damage. Thankfully, further harm was avoided thanks to the home’s functional fire alarm system.
“Damage estimates are $20,000 to the structure and $10,000 to the contents. This fire highlights the benefit of a monitored fire alarm system, which resulted in a
quick dispatch of the fire department which minimized damage to the house.”
Most Laundry Fires Are Caused From Accumulated Lint
While this specific situation is definitely an oddity, dryer fires are by no means uncommon.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), thousands of dryers catch fire each year, and the leading cause is from lint building up and eventually combusting.
The USFA notes that being on top of cleaning and maintenance is paramount, and it’s also recommended to never leave the dryer running before going to sleep or leaving the house.
So, while the North Carolina laundry fire was on the more unusual side, people have a very real risk of causing a dryer fire if they fail to regularly clean out the lint trap. Additionally, it’s important to regularly clean out the dryer vent and exhaust duct.
Clean your dryer lint filter after every use. Clean your dryer lint exhaust duct periodically. https://t.co/r6cirsIpIr
— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) December 1, 2022
#WeekendChallenge Take a look outside at your dryer vent exhaust, if you’ve never cleaned it, it may look like this…Built up lint can easily cause a fire in your home, clean it out today. pic.twitter.com/x0yMNoKuob
— Midland Fire Department (@MidlandFire) November 26, 2022
What do you think about the story, and will you be making any changes to your laundry routine now?