Dryer fire claims local home - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Dryer fire claims local home

Bridgette Mayo's Wilmington home is destroyed. Her house is just one of more than 15,000 homes nationwide that will go up in flames this year, all because of a household appliance most of us use several times a week.

Mayo was sound asleep when she woke up to find the laundry room was on fire. Mayo and her family are grateful to have escaped with their lives.

Each year dryer fires cause as many as 30 deaths and 300 injuries.

Sal Vasquezo and partner Blake Frank make a living in Wilmington preventing such fires. They created the company Efficient Airflow to specialize in removing dryer lint.

Frank says lint fires are something you don't think about. You just throw a load in and walk away.

Vasquezo says people think they're doing well by cleaning the lint trap. While it's a great effort, he says that alone is not enough. Lint accumulates on internal components within the machine.

Lint is so flammable, campers use it as kindling for their fires. It's so ignitable, it kept burning even after we placed a lit piece in water.

To keep your lint from catching fire, here's some advice from our dryer experts:

  • Never leave home or take a nap with the dryer running.
  • Have your dryer cleaned every year. If it takes an extra cycle to get your clothes dry it's probably about due.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher near the laundry room.

High risk groups include:

  • Pet owners. Animal hair clogs ducts.
  • Apartment and town house residents. Dryers may have to push lint up several stories to the vent.
  • Humid Climates. Humidity creates a sticky, lint-grabbing environment.

Unfortunately, Mayo had to learn about dryer fires first hand. Her story is a very frightening warning for everyone else.

Reported by Ashley Hayes

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