Let’s Find the Contractor

Kenneth A. Kandrac, CFI, Fire Cause and Origin Expert
An attached single-family dwelling along a Jersey Shore river was the scene of a major structure fire. The insured’s college age son was in a third-floor room studying. While in a second-floor living room, the insured observed smoke flashing past the windows. Within a few minutes a first-floor smoke detector sounded. Going to the first-floor, the insured observed fire venting from the laundry room, and within seconds he was driven from the first-floor to the exterior of the home. He immediately called for his son, who quickly responded, but could not exit via the interior stairway and was forced to jump from a second-floor window.
The investigation revealed a well-involved fire in an electric clothes dryer. Fire patterns on the dryer were consistent with an extensive lint buildup. Continuing evaluation of the fire patterns and fire extension within the first-floor showed an unusual configuration for the routing of the metal exhaust duct for the dryer vent. The builder had decided to route the exhaust from the laundry room near the front of the structure to the rear wall adjacent to a parking lot, an extended run for metal duct. Continue reading “Let’s Find the Contractor”