Patsy Hobbs is glad she saw someone staring at her apartment Monday afternoon. When she stepped outside, she noticed the building was on fire.
“She was just standing there looking at my apartment so I wanted to see what was up,” said Hobbs. “I came out and there it was.”
A bird’s nest built in a dryer vent is believed to be responsible for causing a small fire inside the wall at Hearthwood Apartments where Hobbs lives. The apartment complex is located on Oriole Drive at its intersection with Bybee Drive just a couple blocks from where a fire destroyed eight apartment units about two weeks ago.
This fire was tiny in comparison as McMinnville firefighters made quick work of the situation.
“There were flames coming out of the dryer vent when we first got there,” said McMinnville Fire Chief Kendall Mayfield. “When I heard that come over the scanner, I thought ‘Oh no, not again.’”
Firefighters punched a hole in the building from the outside to gain access to the point of origin then doused the flames using a high-pressure water canister.
Mayfield said a partially burned bird’s next was removed from the dryer vent. Hobbs said she was using the dryer at the time.
“I’m just glad I stayed at home,” said Hobbs, who escaped unharmed with her little dog, Max. “I almost started the dryer and left.”
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are around 2,900 dryer fires reported each year causing an estimated five deaths and $35 million in property loss.