A clogged dryer exhaust vent started a fire in a home on Anna Circle last week. The Sitka Fire Department received a call at about 5:15pm on Friday (8-2-2019) evening. The department dispatched 25 firefighters and 6 EMT’s.
By the time the firefighters arrived, the blaze had gone through its growth phase, said Craig Warren, Senior Engineer at the Sitka Fire Department. That means the flames had by and large died down, so the department used very little water to extinguish the fire. They opened windows and set up ventilation fans to cool the building down and prevent re-ignition.
Clogged dryer vents are not uncommon and can easily start fires, Warren says. If the machine isn’t working properly, lint gets stuck in the exhaust vent and prevents air circulation. “If the air doesn’t go out it just keeps getting hotter and hotter until something inside combusts,” he said.
The damage to the building was significant: the two families who lived there lost most of their personal possessions. Warren says flooring, walls, ceilings, fixtures will have to be replaced. But no one was injured in the blaze.