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Sprinkler thwarts dryer fire at senior living center

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Herald staff
LYNNWOOD -- A fire in a clothes dryer at a senior living center north of Lynnwood on Wednesday caused minimal damage thanks to a sprinkler that kept flames in check until firefighters arrived, officials said.
The fire was reported at 3:25 a.m. in the basement of the four-story, 147-unit Chateau Pacific Senior Living center in the 3300 block of 148th St. SW. Dispatchers received notification of the fire from the center's automatic alarm system.
Firefighters from Snohomish County Fire District 1 found a haze of smoke in the laundry room. A sprinkler head had been activated above a smoldering commercial gas clothes dryer. Firefighters were able to use a fire extinguisher to douse the small fire that remained.
"A fire like this at a time of the morning when most residents are sleeping could have resulted in tragedy, but one sprinkler head was able to keep the fire contained to the clothes dryer," District 1 spokeswoman Leslie Hynes said. "This is an excellent example of how sprinklers can react quickly to save lives and reduce property damage."
Fire and water damage was estimated at $6,000.
No one was injured.
An investigator from the Snohomish County Fire Marshal's Office determined the fire most likely was started by a plastic item that melted and ignited inside the dryer after accidentally getting mixed in with a load of napkins.
Story tags » LynnwoodFire

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