Dryer sparks fire that destroyed 100-year-old home



CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. - A fire in Caldwell County left a home heavily damaged Saturday morning.

The two-story house was engulfed in smoke around 10 a.m.

Eyewitness News reporter Dave Fahrety learned that the owners of the 100-year-old home were helping a neighbor across the street when they noticed the heavy smoke.

Firefighters said they saw flames coming out of nearly every part of the home.

With temperatures soaring into the 90s, it was one of the most difficult fires they've fought this year, officials said.

Firefighters scrambled to get water on the two-story home that dates back to the early 1900's.

Neighbors first noticed the smoke coming out of the home.

"We're building a barn and I saw smoke; a little bit of smoke, and I told him something over there is a burning," said Shannon Burns.

The family that lives here was helping a neighbor across the street build a barn when they noticed smoke.

When they returned to the home the fire had spread quickly from a laundry room. Because of the intense heat, three different fire departments in Caldwell County responded to the fire east of Hudson.

Assistant Fire Chief Harley Bentley said "(It was) extremely hot. You couldn't man the hose very long without having to take a break, without getting completely exhausted."

The fire marshal Robbie Wilkie told WSOC-TV he believes the fire started behind a dryer when some lint ignited. He says what happened here is a warning to others.

"Most the time people clean the lint out on the front part of the dryer, but probably at least twice a year you need to move the dryer out and clean out the vent really well," said Wilkie.

Damages here are estimated at $130,000. The owner here tells me tonight he is grateful for all the neighbors who have come forward, offering to help.