I hate to be like some local news promo that likes to instill absolute fear in viewers with some cheesy "your family is in danger and you don't even know it" crap... but I have to share what happened here in hopes we could help others.
Thursday night sometime after 10 pm, I did tons of laundry -- think I was on load five -- when the dryer caught fire. Not like spark-oh-that-was-close fire, but full on flames, smoke filling the house fire. At first, I smelled something burning and saw there was light coming from inside. I grabbed the phone and called Jeff at work. The light seemed to go away and I thought maybe it caught fire and then put itself out. But I told Jeff, "I don't feel comfortable just going to bed" and stood there for a bit.
Within several seconds, the dryer suddenly had smoke coming out from all sides and I could see the flame from through the crack of the door. Jeff was my voice of reason and directed me to the fire extinguisher right around the corner. I started to panic, thinking of the three sleeping kids upstairs, and ran next door, frantically ringing our neighbors' doorbell. He came out and ran back with me and extinguished the fire. In the short time it took me to get him (my guess, 45 seconds or so), the entire laundry room was filled with smoke and the flames were growing quickly.
The fire dept. came to check out the situation and we discovered, even though I clean the lint trap after every wash, the lint can get down below and cause a fire. Also dryer vent needs to be blown out -- did you all know about that?
The guilty dryer
The message I want people to take from this is the importance of a fire extinguisher in the home. If we didn't have that, I don't even know what I would've done -- probably just grab all three kids and run out the door... honest and truly. When I shared my event-filled evening with friends the next day, most people admitted to not having an extinguisher (and I think they were about to fix that the same day).
So use your Sunday for good and go get one. It could save your house... if not your life.