Resident, Fireman Injured in Dryer Blaze
An elderly Cartersville man was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital following an apparent attempt to extinguish the flames that damaged 25 percent of his home.
A clothes dryer was the culprit in a Sunday fire that sent two men to hospitals and damaged a mobile home off Highway 61 in Cartersville.
Bartow County Fire Department's Bryan Cox, recently named fire marshal, said an elderly Carnes Drive resident who suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns to his face and neck was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta following the 4 p.m. blaze.
The man's family indicated he had attempted to extinguish the fire officials determined started in and around a dryer, and Cox said that's likely how the homeowner was injured.
A firefighter was hurt during the department's efforts to suppress the blaze. Cox said he suffered a minor injury to a lower extremity, was treated at Cartersville Medical Center and released.
When fire crews arrived, heavy fire was showing from one-third of the mobile home, including its additions. Cox said firefighters were able stop the flames from spreading, but 25 percent of the structure had been damaged by fire. Sixty percent of the home was affected by smoke.
Fire officials believe the blaze was accidental and involved the dryer, but Cox declined to disclose investigators' preliminary findings.
He said dryer fires are common and often result from poor maintenance. An estimated 17,700 residential structure fires across the country in 2006 involved dryers or washing machines and resulted in 15 deaths and 360 injuries of civilians, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
The leading cause of those fires was failure to clean, and 92 percent of the blazes involved dryers. Cox said "everyone remembers to clean the lint filter on top," but one also should clean behind, underneath and around a dryer, including its exhaust tube, which should never be kinked.