A clothes dryer seems to have been responsible for a fire that destroyed the home of a Monroe man Wednesday afternoon at about 5 p.m.
The resident of the house near the corner of 154th Street S.E. and 175th Avenue S.E., a man of 36, was not home at the time, but had a guest there who was doing some laundry. According to personal reports as well as police information, the woman noticed smoke coming from the dryer and opened the door, whereupon the fire flared up and got out of control fast.
The woman, 26, got out of the house without serious injury, but she did have to be treated for smoke inhalation.
The house was consumed in less than 10 minutes, and the interior was entirely destroyed.
Firefighters from Monroe District #3 and Snohomish District #7 from the Maltby area responded to the blaze, which was contained to the house and a cedar tree outside.
The house was a total loss, and the Red Cross provided assistance. Friends and neighbors are also providing help.
The man’s uncle, James Pino, who lives nearby, is accepting clothes and household goods for the fire victim.
“He has pretty much nothing at this point,” Pino said.
The man wears 2XL shirts and 40×30 pants.
About 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported every year in the United Stated, and about half of them cause damage to more than just the dryer. The leading cause of dryer fires is too much lint. Lint accumulates not only in the lint trap, which is easily cleaned, but also in the vents. Vents can be clogged by other things, too, such as animal nests, and vent exhaust hoses can be damaged, as well. Crushed hoses are a common cause of dryer fires. Anything that blocks or reduces the air flow through the vent can lead to overheating.
It is important to check and clean vents and hoses on a regular basis.