Thursday morning fire spares occupants, home sustains limited damage

No one was hurt and a two-story home sustained only limited damage in a house fire in the 3500 block of Orchard Street Southeast late Thursday morning.

Credit the actions of a quick-to-respond neighbor and the efficient work of the Valley Regional Fire Authority.

According to VRFA investigators, oily kitchen towels someone had used to soak up cooking oil and then washed and placed in a clothes dryer got hot enough to start the fire.

Multiple callers reported smoke and flames shortly before 11:30 a.m., and when firefighters arrived, they saw smoke and a neighbor applying water with a garden hose, likely slowing the spread of the flames.

Fire crews quickly contained the fire, limiting damage to an upstairs bathroom and bedroom.

The VRFA got help from the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority, South King Fire & Rescue, Renton Regional Fire Authority and King County Medic One.

The VRFA reminds everyone to use caution whenever when they wash towels or rags containing oils. A little known fact is that oils cannot generally be removed in one wash, and may ignite in the clothes dryer. People should either dispose of these towels in a sealed metal container or wash them multiple times to ensure the oils are removed. Do not place these towels in the dryer, instead hang them to dry.