Fire District No. 1 rescues lost hikers, puts out dryer fire

Oct 25, 2017

Dartmouth Fire District No. 1 had a busy day on October 19 after crews put out a dryer fire and rescued lost hikers on two separate calls.

The first call, for a report of a house fire at 20 Utica Lane, came in at 7:14 a.m. According to Chief Brad Ellis, the homeowner was awoken by a smoke detector, and called 911 after discovering the home was filled with smoke.

Crews arrived and discovered the dryer, which was running at the time, had caught fire and put out the fire in a matter of minutes.

Damage is estimated at $6,000. The fire completely destroyed the dryer and damaged the immediate area surrounding it, but crews were able to keep the fire contained to that room.

The cause was a dyer vent that had become so clogged with lint it wasn't properly allowing heat to escape, Ellis said.

Ellis said the message here is two-fold - smoke detectors save lives, and routine cleaning of dryer vents and lint traps is a must.

At 6:55 p.m. that night, Fire Districts No. 1 and 2 and police responded to the Frank Knowles/Little River Reserve on Potomska Road for a report of lost hikers. Ellis said his department had 16 people involved in the search after two hikers called for help after becoming lost on the trails.

Within 50 minutes of responding, crews were able to locate the lost hikers and lead them out of the woods.

"It's a very scenic place but it can get confusing once you get off the main trials like these people did," Ellis said.