Dryer Likely Sparked Fire In NW OKC Home

Thursday, January 17th 2013, 9:01 am
By: News 9

A fire destroyed an Oklahoma City house and left a family homeless early Thursday morning.

The fire started just after 2:30 a.m. in the 600 block of Tompkins Drive, near N.W. 10th Street and Council. Firefighters rushed to the scene and immediately saw heavy smoke and flames shooting from the garage. The family of 5, who was sleeping when the fire started, managed to safely escape before fire crews arrived.

The homeowners told News 9 they'd done some laundry the previous night when they noticed a funny smell coming from the dryer; but they didn't think anything of it. A few hours later, they heard popping noises and then the smoke alarms sounded.

Firefighters say the dryer likely sparked the fire. They warn lint buildup in dryer vents can be extremely flammable.

"The majority of people just clean out the lint that they can see. It's very important to keep those cleaned out," Oklahoma City Battalion Chief Mike Kelley said.

The homeowners did not have insurance. The American Red Cross is starting the process of assisting the family.