A fire caused more than $65,000 damage and displaced five residents from two units at an Edmonds apartment complex this morning.
A neighbor called 911 to report smoke coming from a second-floor apartment in a three-story building at the Firdale Village Apartments in the 9300 block of 244th Street Southwest. No one was inside the second-floor unit at the time of the fire and residents in the other units in the building safely evacuated.
“The second-floor unit was full of heavy, black smoke when firefighters arrived. They quickly extinguished the fire and kept flames from spreading to other units in the building,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1, which provides fire and emergency medical service in the City of Edmonds.
About 20 firefighters from Fire District 1 and Shoreline Fire Department responded. No injuries were reported.
Fire investigators believe this was an accidental fire that started in the laundry room of the second-floor apartment. Heavy smoke and heat damage left the apartment uninhabitable.
Support 7 and Red Cross responded to assist the resident of the fire-damaged apartment and a family of four displaced by water damage to the apartment below the fire unit.
“While fire investigators have not determined how this fire started, there are steps you can take to prevent laundry room fires in your home,” Hynes said. Fire District 1 offers these safety tips:
· Clean the dryer lint filter before each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
· Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
· Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
· Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Clean lint out of the vent pipe at least once a year or more often if you notice it is taking longer than normal to dry clothes.
· Keep dryers and washers clean and in good working order. The leading cause of home washer and dryer fires was failure to clean (32 percent), followed by mechanical and electrical malfunctions, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
· Follow manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload the washer or dryer.
· Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
· Keep the area around the dryer clear of things that can burn such as boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing.
· Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances, such as gasoline, paint thinner or solvents, should be laid outside to dry, then washed and dried as usual.