HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A dangerous fire in the Galleria-area overnight is a good reminder for everyone to clean out your dryer, so something like this doesn't happen to you.
According to the Houston Fire Department, a fire started at an apartment building at 2001 Bering Drive near Westheimer just before midnight because of lint buildup in the dryer, something that is more common than you might think.
According to HFD, firefighters arrived to the apartment complex to find heavy smoke billowing out of a unit.
A neighbor was already in the process of rescuing two dogs, and firefighters were able to give the dogs oxygen and first aid.
The renter was not home at the time of the fire, according to HFD.
"I was at home watching TV and I noticed that there was smoke in my apartment. I didn't think it was regular, so I started investigating on my own. My detector went off so I knew something was not good," neighbor Kevin Daniel said. "So I walked around here and I found what I saw. I called 911."
"One of the big factors on this is maintenance. The dryer vent pipe on this is packed full of lint. Also the back of the dryer is packed full of lint, which means none of that heat and the lint was getting by," HFD District Chief Richard Cole said. "There was no ventilation getting to that part of the dryer, so that's going to be a contributing factor on this fire tonight."
Thankfully, no one was injured in the fire.
According to FEMA:
- 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year
- Those fires cause an estimated five deaths and 100 injuries each year
- The fires, on average, cause $35 million in property loss annually
FEMA recommends checking the venting system behind the dryer to make sure it's not crushed or blocked, which can also easily lead to a fire.