A blaze filled a Summerhill apartment laundry room Saturday afternoon after flames were sparked by a buildup of lint.

Courtesy of Thomas Basher

A blaze filled a Summerhill apartment laundry room Saturday afternoon after flames were sparked by a buildup of lint.

February 18, 2019

Lint Led to Laundry Room Flames in Summerhill Apartment, Fire Department Says

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A blaze filled a Summerhill apartment laundry room Saturday afternoon after flames were sparked by a buildup of lint, according to an Ithaca Fire Department press release.

The fire torched a stacked washer-dryer unit, charring parts of the top and side of the machine. Smoke tripped the building’s alarm system, notifying the apartment residents of the fire.

The first-floor apartment emitted smoke, but the Ithaca Fire Department credited the sprinkler system for containing the flames within the laundry room. 

After all occupants were confirmed to be out of the building, firefighters worked for around 10 minutes to extinguish the fire and ventilate the smoke. The crews then worked to shut off the sprinkler, remove the water and investigate the cause of the fire.

Officials attributed the source of the fire to lint that had accumulated in a machine’s lint trap, and cautioned residents to diligently clean their lint traps and surrounding areas to avoid similar outcomes.

The Summerhill townhouses — located about a mile off-campus — are “newly remodeled,” according to their website.

The fire department lauded the working sprinkler and alarm systems for containing the situation. Ithaca codes requires dwellings to have working fire alarms near bedrooms and operational sprinkler systems.