CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Some people living in an apartment complex near the University of Virginia Corner are without a home after an early morning fire.

Firefighters were called to the 200 block of 14th Street Northwest just after 2 a.m. Tuesday, June 4. When they got on scene, they found a dryer on fire on the fourth floor of the building.

Crews credit the sprinkler system for keeping the fire contained to just the dryer.

“One of the lessons of an incident like this is just how important it is to have a working sprinkler system and alarm system,” Charlottesville Fire Chief Andrew Baxter said. “That sprinkler system saved lives tonight, there's no question about it.”

No one was inside the apartment at the time of the fire.

Baxter says people living inside two apartments have temporarily been displaced due to smoke and water damage throughout the building.

Damages are estimated to be around $10,000.

06/04/2019 Release from the Charlottesville Fire Department:

Charlottesville, VA – Tuesday June 4, 2019 at 2:09 a.m., units from the Charlottesville Fire Department responded for a report of a water flow alarm. The initial arriving crews investigated the report and discovered a clothes dryer on fire on one of the upper floors of the building.

The fire was contained to the appliance itself. However, there is residual smoke and water damage throughout the building.

The Charlottesville Fire Department responded with four engines, one aerial ladder truck, one tower ladder truck, one ambulance and a Battalion Chief.

Several residents will be displaced while clean-up and repairs are made to the building. Total damages are estimated to be approximately $10,000.

Always call 911 before attempting to extinguish any fire.

The Charlottesville Fire Department would like to remind everyone the leading cause of home dryer fires is failure to clean them properly. Here are some tips on cleaning your dryer.

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
  • Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating.
  • Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.

If you have any questions related to this news release, please contact Battalion Chief Mike Johnson at 434-409-8117.

The Charlottesville Fire Department would like to remind everyone that smoke detectors save lives. A free detector is available to all City residents. Call 434-970-3245 to schedule your smoke detector install.