Dryer causes house fire, home is a total loss

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A family loses their home in an overnight house fire in Chesterfield. We just found out moments ago, it was the dryer that malfunctioned that caused the fire. The fire is being ruled an accident.

The resident woke up and noticed fire in the laundry room of the house and made several attempts to extinguish the fire but was unsuccessful, according to Chesterfield fire officials. The fire quickly spread to other areas of the residence and caused significant damage to the home. All occupants made it out of the home through a first-floor window.

Chesterfield County fire marshals have determined the dryer was the cause of the fire. The Red Cross is assisting three residents who were displaced.

The fire started around 2 a.m. Friday at a home on the 8200 block of Baldwin Creek Road.

The roof is completely gone from the home. It took nearly two hours to put out the massive fire. It left the three people that lived here with only the clothes on their back.

We were able to capture dramatic video of the flames, overtaking the home. A home that Sandra Hauser's family built and has lived in since the 1970s. "I'm still in shock. I don't even know where I go from here what I even start to do."

Sandra says she was drying some clothes, fell asleep and woke up to find the dryer on fire.

"Something woke me up. I don't know what," adds Sandra. We do know it was not a smoke detector. Investigators say there were no working detectors in the home.

Sandra tried to put the fire out herself with some pots and pans. "I went into the bathtub and filled them with water. I threw water (on the dryer) but at that point, it wasn't going to work, so I got everybody up."

Sandra, her 10-year-old grandson and her son all escaped through this bedroom window. "My son helped me out of the window. He opened it up and kicked the screen out."

Now, Sandra basically only has the clothes she was wearing after the fire, a robe, and plastic bags to keep her feet dry.

The roof is charred. An awning detached from the home and turned upside down. Inside, just the wood beams are left and what appears to be part of a home gym.

The fire took 1 hour and 45 minutes to put out because there are no fire hydrants nearby. So three tanker trucks were called in. But it took about 30 minutes for them to get here.

"As soon as we got the tankers here we were able to put the fire out," says Bat. Chief David Bailey with Chesterfield Fire and EMS.

But by then, most of the home was already engulfed in flames. "It's where we've lived for so many years. I don't even have shoes to put on. It's a big loss."

The Red Cross is helping the family out. Also the homeowner tells me she has family nearby and plans to stay with them for the time being.

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