Quilcene family needs donations after house fire

Fire leaves house, family’s belongings with massive smoke damage

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A Quilcene family needs clothing and toys after safely escaping from a house fire that resulted in massive smoke damage to their home and personal belongings April 10.

While the family has at least temporary lodging, Quilcene Fire Rescue is collecting donations at the Quilcene Fire Station at 70 Herbert St.

Quilcene Fire Rescue was dispatched to Pete Beck Road at 1:16 p.m. after receiving a report of a dryer fire at a home, with the occupants evacuating the house.

At the scene, firefighters found an active fire in the laundry room and the mother, two small children and three dogs outside the house with no injuries. Firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to the rest of the structure and with help from the Brinnon Fire Department, crews extinguished the remaining hot spots in the structure.

“It’s hard to say what’s truly salvageable yet,” Deputy Fire Chief Don Svetich said. “There was a lot of smoke and water saturation, as well as the fire impinging upon the structure. Many items and parts of the structure have been contaminated by cancer-causing agents. Some items can be laundered, but others can’t. Regardless, we recommended the family not go back in for a few days.”

He called the smoke damage “massive.”

The youngest toddler needs boy size 3T clothes and shoes in size 8, and he likes unicorn and horse toys.

The oldest toddler needs boys size 4T/5T clothes and shoes in size 10, and he likes superhero and Mickey Mouse toys.

Both the mother and the father wear medium shirts and size 30 pants, with the mom wearing shoes in size 7 while the father wears shoes in sizes 12/13.

If the station is locked when you stop by, you can reach the duty crew at 360-774-6999, and they will assist you if available.

Friends and relatives of the family arrived as the fire was being extinguished, and have taken the parents and children into their care.

As for the rest of the community, Svetich sees this as an object lesson on the importance of cleaning the lint out of your dryer’s filter and vents.

“We’re still investigating to pin down exactly where the fire first occurred, but with a dryer fire, it’s typically due to a buildup of lint in either the filter catch or the vents,” Svetich said. “The heating element can reach several hundred degrees, so depending on how long your vents are, and how many twists and turns they have, lint can build up in there. And once a dryer fire starts, it spreads very quickly, because lint is very flammable.”

Svetich recommends cleaning out your dryer’s vents at least once a year, and the lint filter before every individual load of laundry.

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