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Smoke Detectors Do Their Job to Save Hartford Home

Hartford Fire Department Capt. Ray Bushey leaves a West Hartford home after helping to extinguish a fire in a clothes dryer on Friday. The blaze was contained to the dryer and no one was hurt. (Valley News – James M. Patterson)

Hartford Fire Department Capt. Ray Bushey leaves a West Hartford home after helping to extinguish a fire in a clothes dryer on Friday. The blaze was contained to the dryer and no one was hurt. (Valley News – James M. Patterson)

West Hartford — A dryer fire was contained to the singed machine and didn’t cause further damage to a West Hartford home thanks to the home’s smoke detectors, according to the Hartford Fire Marshal.

The owner of a small ranch home at 285 Westfield Drive was doing laundry when her dryer caught fire. Firefighters were called to the scene at 12:47 p.m. Friday and found smoke on the first floor, and dark gray smoke in the basement near the dryer. It took about 10 minutes to get the fire under control, Hartford Lt. Alan Beebe said. The fire was contained to the dryer and the house didn’t sustain significant smoke damage.

The owner of the home, who declined to give her name, and a neighbor stood in the front yard Friday afternoon. Beside them sat a gray crate, which held the owner’s cat, Lucy. On top of the crate sat the woman’s pink purse and two water bottles.

The destroyed dryer sat behind the house in the grass while firefighters took photographs of the ruined machine. An orange box containing Bounce dryer sheets sat on top of the dryer, and nearby, a singed blue and white sheet sat next to a pile of clothes that were burned brown and black . A white bottle of Woolite rested close by on the grass.

Hartford Fire Marshal Mike Bedard said the owner of the home was upstairs when the smoke detectors went off, and the fire could have been much worse without working smoke detectors.

“Without working smoke detectors, the whole basement would be gone,”Bedard said. “They really saved the day.”

That the owner was home while doing her laundry also made a huge difference, Beebe said. It’s hard to prevent a dryer fire, Beebe said, but people should never leave their house while the dryer is running.

“I know people do it all the time, my kids have done it at my house, drives me crazy, but I’ve seen enough dryer fires,” Beebe said. “If you’re running the dryer at home, stay home with it.”

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.