Oklahoma City firefighters say a dryer may be to blame for an early-morning fire that heavily damaged a home in southwest Oklahoma City.
The family says just before they went to bed Thursday night, they put some clothes in the dryer at the home in the 2600 block of S.W. 51st Street near Villa.
Aireal Simpkins lives in the house. She worked a late shift, came home around 12:30 a.m. Friday and discovered the house was on fire. She quickly ran to wake her family.
"My sister answered the door and as soon as she answered it, I said "what's going on?' She said, ‘I don't know, something's on fire,'" said Simpkins. "I went and woke my husband up and told him the house was on fire. We jumped up and grabbed the kids and ran out. When we did, the fire started busting through the windows in the back part of the house."
Simpkins, her husband, their two young children and Simpkins' sister, safely escaped the house and called 911.
Fire crews quickly put out the flames, but there was significant smoke and fire damage to the house. Firefighters believe the fire started in the laundry room.
Firefighters say it's important for people to makes sure dryer vents are cleaned out, because they can start fires just like this one.
"You have to make sure they're vented properly, that you clean them out and clean out the vents. They're dangerous," Acting Fire Chief Scott Vanhorn said.