SWFD: Fire caused by dryer lint at commercial laundry facility 'could have been much worse'

Sierra Rains
Northwest Florida Daily News

South Walton firefighters were called to a commercial laundry facility Friday afternoon after lint in the duct work of a dryer caught fire.

Firefighters arrived on Bud’s Lane off East County Highway 30A about 4:30 p.m., according to a South Walton Fire District Facebook post. They found the smell and sight of smoke in the area and began investigating.

A dryer vent duct smokes after lint ignited a fire inside of a South Walton laundry facility Friday afternoon. The South Walton Fire District encourages residents to make sure the duct work of their dryers are clear of buildup to prevent fires.

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The smoke was traced to a laundry facility, where a fire had reportedly ignited in the duct work of a dryer unit. Damage to the business was minimal and no one was injured.

In a social media post, the SWFD said the incident “could have been much worse.”

The duct work of multiple dryers at a South Walton laundry facility. A buildup of lint reportedly caused a fire at the facility Friday afternoon.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments responded to an estimated average of 13,820 home fires per year between 2014 and 2018 in which dryers were involved in the ignition.

Those fires caused an average of seven deaths, 344 injuries and $233 million in direct property damage annually.

October is recognized nationally as Fire Prevention Month, and the South Walton Fire District encouraged residents to take time to do a little extra cleaning to make sure the duct work of their dryers are clear of buildup.

According to the NFPA, 32% of dryer fires were caused by failure to clean. The main reason being a buildup of lint as 27% were started when dust, fiber or lint ignited.