Apartments evacuated due to dryer fire; investigation continues

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Courtesy photo Bonners Ferry Fire Department responds to a fire in the laundry room of the Bonners Ferry Apartments on Nov. 18.

BONNERS FERRY — On Nov. 18, around 10 p.m., a fire was reported in the laundry room of the Bonners Ferry Apartments.

“Upon my arrival, I saw smoke billowing from the laundry room entry and from around the entirety of the building’s fascia,” wrote Bonners Ferry Police Sergeant Willie Cowell in the police report.

Cowell retrieved the fire extinguisher from his patrol vehicle when he discovered that the structure had not been confirmed clear of people. The smoke ceiling when he first entered was about six feet, according to the police report.

A clothes dryer, with the door open, was burning and the flames were spreading to the floor. Cowell used half of his fire extinguisher which momentarily put out the flames.

“The fire almost immediately reignited in the dryer and I re-entered the laundry room dousing the flames with the remaining fire retardant in the extinguisher,” wrote Cowell in the police report.

Cowell exited the structure and the dryer reignited again, and the smoke ceiling had dropped to approximately two feet. He closed the door to the laundry room to minimize oxygen to the structure and began evacuating the building.

Bonners Ferry Fire Department then arrived and took over the scene. They were able to get the fire under control, clearing the scene at 11:30 p.m.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

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