"In the News"
At Immoos Fire, we pray you as a homeowner or business owner
never have to experience a fire. Fortunately when one of our
installations was tested, the fire protection system worked as designed.
Please note in the picture at the bottom of the article, the paint on the wall,
only 3 inches away from the burning dryer, was not even blistered. A
successful outcome from a potential devastating and terrifying situation.
Fire protection sprinklers minimize damage in Wilton dryer fire
By Robin Seymour Moquin
River Valley Times Staff
- The Wilton Fire Department (WFD) was called to the 1100 block of Mann Road
in Wilton on October 5 to extinguish a dryer fire. WFD Chief Michael Ridley
said, "The fire was contained by the residential sprinkler system to the laundry
room and only the washer and dryer were a complete loss; there was no further
extension of the fire."
Ridley added, "The sprinkler system did what it was supposed to do leaving only
minimal smoke and potential water damage to flooring. Our guys were dispatched
to the fire at 12:24 p.m. on October 5, ensured that everyone was out of the
house unharmed, shut off the water, cleaned the water off the floor, and
returned to the station at 1:52 p.m.."
Wilton resident Kristen Nielson was not at home when her dryer caught on fire.
"Luckily, my sister Kelly and my helper Viri were at home with my 4- year-old
daughter and my 3-year-old niece and got the children out of the house
immediately," Nielson said. "When I arrived home a few minutes after the fire
began, smoke was just pouring out of my house and I could see flames coming out
of the front of my dryer."
Thankfully for the Nielson family, the fire damage was limited to loss of their
dryer and washer, a bit of smoke residue that may lead to them doing some
repainting, and potential water damage that may result in the family replacing
some flooring. Nielson attributed her minimal loss to the fire sprinklers they
recently had installed throughout their home. She said, "When we remodeled
recently, the County of Sacramento Building Department required that we have
sprinklers installed in the new addition and further required that we retrofit
the rest of our house with the same sprinklers. At that time, I complained about
having to install sprinklers in the entire house, however, now I am very glad we
did." She added, "Wilton Fire was here within a minute or so and asked me if
anyone else, human or animal was in the house; the firemen removed my pet birds
and then shut off the water and even cleaned up. The firemen were dripping wet;
it was like it was raining off their hats with water from the sprinklers."
From all appearances, the cause of the fire was related to lint built up in the
dryer. Nielson said, "I clean out the lint trap in the front of my dryer every
time I use the dryer and we have our chimney swept once a year and they always
ask me if I want them to clear out our dryer vent. I always said no, but now I
think I�ll be saying yes."
She added, "I never knew that lint in the dryer duct could cause a fire. I
wonder how many people think to pull their dryers away from the wall and
completely clear the duct attached to their dryer vent? I�ve heard that if you
use dryer sheets, such a Bounce, these can cause a film to build up on your lint
trap rendering it unusable, clogged and a fire hazard. Now I remove my lint trap
and wash it in the sink and, when I first did this I found I had a partially
clogged lint trap."
Nielson also advised that no one should leave their dryer on when they are not
at home or when they are sleeping. Even in light of the fire, Nielson was able
to see a somewhat humorous side of the whole ordeal. "The laundry basket that
melted was full of church socks for my eight children, who will now all be
getting new church socks," she said.
Ernie Le Blanc, residential supervisor at Todd Immoos Fire Protection said, "Our
company installed the fire sprinklers at the Nielson residence in Wilton and we
rarely get a chance to see how wonderful the systems really work." Le Blanc
added, "These systems really can save lives and the general public doesn�t even
know they exist. In the case of the Wilton dryer fire, the system extinguished
the fire before the fire even bubbled the paint on the wall three inches away
from the clothes dryer."
Le Blanc agreed with Nielson that residents need to know about the importance of
keeping a dryer free of lint and also need to make sure that a dryer vent is
clear to the outside of the residence as well. Le Blanc advised that the
sprinklers they install trigger at 165 degrees and that only the sprinkler heads
in the area where a fire is located be triggered to go off. Then, once the
sprinklers have been triggered and they have discharged water, the solder plug
fuse has been released and the heads need to be replaced. Todd Immoos Fire
Protection provided replacement sprinkler heads to the Nielson�s at no
The company can be reached at (916) 392-6190.
(Fire extinguished before the paint even had time to blister the paint on the
wall 3 inches away.)