Overheated clothes dryer ignites fire in southwest Columbia

A overheated clothes dryer is to blame for a fire Thursday night that caused significant damage to a southwest Columbia home.

The Columbia Fire Department arrived at the spilt-level home in the 3400 block of Sierra Madre just after 10 p.m. The 911 caller stated there was a fire in the clothes dryer.

At the scene, firefighters found the fire coming from the downstairs laundry room and were able to control the fire in approximately five minutes, according to a press release.

The downstairs laundry room and the kitchen area on the main living level immediately above the laundry room sustained fire damage. The remainder of the five-bedroom rental home sustained moderate smoke damage. The home is uninhabitable until repairs are made.

The fire was discovered when one of the occupants heard the smoke alarm sounding, investigated and found the fire in the dryer. The two adult occupants and six children then exited the structure.

â??This is a great example of how smoke alarms provide early detection of a fire,â?? Captain John Metz said. â??This early detection allows the occupants time to escape from the home before fire or smoke blocks their exitâ?? Metz said.

Columbia Assistant Fire Marshal Lt. Brian Davison investigated the fire and determined that, for an unknown reason, the dryer overheated and ignited clothing. Damage to the structure is estimated at $35,000. The occupants did not have rental insurance and are working with the American Red Cross for temporary housing. No pets were injured in the incident.