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Appliances spark Washington County fires

November 30, 1999|By HEATHER KEELS

Appliances sparked accidental fires that damaged two Washington County houses this week, the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Western Regional Office said.

The first started at about 6 p.m. Sunday when a buildup of lint in a dryer's vent pipe ignited in a house in Maugansville, Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Jason Mowbray said in a news release.

The lint fire then spread to nearby combustibles in the crawl space, Mowbray said.

The fire was controlled within 5 minutes and caused $1,500 damage to the single-family home at 14144 Village Mill Drive, Mowbray said.

Allowing lint to build up or keeping flammable materials too close to dryers is a common cause of fires, Mowbray said. He recommends checking the lint collector on the dryer each time it is used and periodically moving the dryer and disconnecting the vent pipe to make sure there isn't any lint built up inside.

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"It's just a housekeeping issue," he said.

A malfunctioning freezer compressor motor was identified as the preliminary cause of a separate fire that destroyed a garage in Clear Spring and the two vehicles inside Monday afternoon, Mowbray said.

That fire started at about 2:20 p.m. at 14702 St. Paul Road and took 30 minutes and 32 firefighters to contain, he said.

In the end, it caused $2,500 damage to the wood-framed single-family home and $25,000 damage to the contents, including a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix and a 1998 Ford F-150 pickup truck, Mowbray said.

The occupants, Jesse and Mary Horne, were temporarily displaced because of smoke damage to the house, he said.

No one was injured in either fire.

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