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Seaside fires draw attention to dryer safety

Have you cleaned your lint filter lately?

Seaside Signal

Published on April 16, 2018 10:57AM

Last changed on April 18, 2018 2:44PM

Scene of a dryer fire in Seaside. The fire was extinguished but the building suffered about $1,000 in damage and the appliance was destroyed.

Seaside Fire and Rescue

Scene of a dryer fire in Seaside. The fire was extinguished but the building suffered about $1,000 in damage and the appliance was destroyed.

Causes of dryer fires as reported by the National Fire Protection Association.

National Fire Protection Association

Causes of dryer fires as reported by the National Fire Protection Association.

A two-alarm blaze brought firefighters and responders to Seaside in late March.

R.J. Marx/Seaside Signal

A two-alarm blaze brought firefighters and responders to Seaside in late March.

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A fire at The Laundry Mat in late March led to the evacuation of neighboring buildings on South Roosevelt Drive, including Coast Hardware and Kiosco Mexicano. Those businesses are closed for cleaning. The cause of that fire remains under investigation.

On Thursday, a fire at Sunset Fitness on North Holladay Drive was also sparked by fire. Fire Marshal Chris Dugan of the Seaside Fire Department said. The owner went to check if towels were dry and saw a small fire in the dryer. The fire department opened up the walls and extinguished the small blaze. The washer and dryer were ruined, with an additional $1,000 damage to the building.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading items ignited in clothes dryer fires are dust, fiber, lint and clothing.

A dryer fire at Seaside’s Comfort Suites about 10 years ago and another at a residence on Lincoln about five years ago point to the need for awareness, Dugan said, with reports of such fires about “once a year.”

The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is failure to clean, the association reported.

“It does happen,” Dugan said. “What usually happens is a lint buildup. Lint is very flammable. When lint can’t get filtered out and cleaned, and you’ve got high heat hitting it, it can easily ignite. It doesn’t burn very long, but it burns pretty fast. We tell people to not only clean the filters, but to look at the piping as well.”

— R.J. Marx





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