A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Fire department confirms build-up of dryer lint to blame for Greenwood house fire that killed dog

June 29th, 2011 · Comments

The Seattle Fire Department confirms that a house fire that killed a dog in Greenwood last Saturday was caused by a build-up of lint in the dryer vent.

From SFD’s Fire Line:

The quick actions of Seattle firefighters prevented a house fire from spreading to nearby homes. On Saturday, June 25 at 6:30pm, a neighbor reported seeing smoke coming from the roof of a home located on the 200 block of North 90th Street. Engine 21 arrived within four minutes and began battling the fire in the one story wood framed home. With Engine 35 supplying water, the crew gained control of the fire in less than 10 minutes. The crews contained the flames to a back corner of the approximately 750 square-foot house. Firefighters from Engines’ 16, 24 and Ladder Trucks 5 and 8, assisted in knocking the entire fire down in less than half-an hour.

Investigators determined that lint built up in the vent system of the dryer started the fire. Damage to the home is estimated at 25-thousand dollars.

The National Fire Protection Administration (NFPA) estimates between 2003 and 2006, one out of every 23 home fires was caused by the dryers or washing machines. In 2006, the NFPA estimates firefighters responded to 17,700 fires caused by the household appliances. The leading cause of these fires according to NFPA is failure to clean the lint from the dryer. The NFPA recommends regular cleaning of the lint vents, making sure the air exhaust vent pipe and outdoor vent flap are not restricted.

Capt. R. Shakoor-Asadi of Fire Station 21 looks at the burned dryer where the fire started on June 25.

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Comments

  1. Other clothes dryer vent safety tips: 1) Replace your vinyl or foil vent hose with rigid or flexible metal ducting (vinyl and foil hoses tend to trap lint) and 2) keep the run between the dryer and the exterior vent hood as short as possible (convoluted ducting tends to trap lint).