Capital City Fire/Rescue firemen pack up fire hoses after responding to a house fire at 4513 Kanata Street on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Capital City Fire/Rescue firemen pack up fire hoses after responding to a house fire at 4513 Kanata Street on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Neighbors band together to stop dryer fire

Dawn Houston was watching a movie about wildfires, “Only the Brave,” around noon Wednesday when a fire broke out in her home.

Houston, 52, heard her dryer making strange noises as it dried a few towels. When she walked into the laundry room, she found it full of smoke. Houston grabbed her fire extinguisher, yelling to her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend for help.

She entered the smoke-filled room and aimed her extinguisher at the dryer, but the extinguisher didn’t work. She thought quickly, calling 911 and running outside to ask for help from her neighbors as her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend began to fill buckets of water in the house.

Fortunately, Houston’s neighbors were able to help. Two of them brought extinguishers and between the extinguishers and the buckets of water were able to mostly knock down the flames.

Houston said she suffered a very small burn on her hand, but other than that there were no injuries. It was unclear immediately following the fire how much damage there was. Houston and her daughter, 22-year-old Miranda Harvey, were in good spirits afterward as they were wrapped in Red Cross blankets in their neighbor’s driveway across the street. They said they were impressed with the fire department’s quick response.

When Capital City Fire/Rescue responders arrived on scene, they were able to fully extinguish the fire quickly, Assistant Chief Tod Chambers said. Chambers said Wednesday’s fire serves as an example of how staying calm under pressure can lead to a good outcome.

“Considering it’s a tragic event,” Chambers said, “it’s nice to have a happy ending.”

He also said this incident shows the importance of having a plan in case of a fire and of having functioning fire extinguishers.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or alex.mccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


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