By Jerzy Shedlock, Columbian staff writer
Published Here: January 5, 2018, 8:34 PM
A dryer fire damaged both units of a Vancouver duplex Thursday, displacing four people, officials said.
The initial call, which came in at 4:19 p.m., indicated an appliance had caught fire at a home located in the 16100 block of Southeast Fourth Street, said Vancouver Fire Capt. Raymond Egan.
Those types of calls are fairly typical, Egan said, so the fire department deployed two engines and a single battalion. The initial crews arrived at the duplex within five minutes, he said.
Not much smoke was visible from outside of the duplex, but when the initial responders entered its interior they found a significant amount of fire originating from around a clothes dryer, Egan said.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, and extra units arrived to help clean up the scene. That’s when responders noticed smoke coming from the roof.
The fire spread from the dryer to the inside of the separating wall of the duplex, Egan said. Firefighters re-entered the home and aggressively attacked the fire once more, tearing out walls, he said.
None of the occupants were injured and the majority of their possessions were saved, the fire captain said. However, the Red Cross reported having sent disaster responders to the home as four adults and their pets were displaced.
Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said the laundry room was damaged heavily, and smoke damage in both units extended into the attic. The cost of the damage is estimated to be $145,729, Scarpelli said.
One of the duplex’s occupants reported hearing loud bangs coming from the dryer, and then it started to smoke. When they opened the appliance, they spotted fire, Scarpelli said. The cause of the fire was ruled an accident, she said.
The fire marshal reminded people to clean out their dryers’ lint traps frequently, as well as the exhaust ducts every year or so.