BONHAM — A fire in a dryer forced the relocation of some residents of Ellen Sagar Nursing Home to another part of the building Tuesday morning.
Capt. James Duncan of the Bonham Fire Department said his department was dispatched to the nursing home at 7:58 a.m.
“We got a call for a smell of fire here,” Duncan said. “When I got here they told me it was in the laundry room. When I got there the door was shut and the laundry room was full of smoke and the smoke was starting to extend into the hallway.
“When I arrived I was by myself, but when I determined there was some kind of fire in there I called for more units,” he said. “When they made entry into the laundry room they found the contents in the dryer were on fire. They used a fire extinguisher inside of it on the dryer and then brought the smoldering contents outside.”
Duncan said after extinguishing the blaze firefighters could find no sign the fire had spread beyond the dryer.
“We checked the dryer and the duct work to the roof for fire extension and found none,” Duncan said. “We set up the positive pressure fan to eject the smoke from the building. In the meantime they’d made an evacuation.”
Jeff Barber, the nursing home’s administrator, said the approximately 40 residents of that section of the facility were evacuated while the fire was being extinguished.
“We relocated the residents from unit one,” Barber said. “We made sure that everybody was behind a fire door. We moved the residents into unit two. At no time were any of the residents outside the building.”
As for the cause of the fire, Duncan said firefighters found a large amount of lint in the dryer and suspect that it ignited causing the fire. He said the dryer sustained little damage and that after being cleaned up it should still be usable.
Firefighters cleared the scene at 9:02 a.m. Also responding to the blaze were firefighters from Monarch, Buffalo, Jonesville, and Southside as well as the Rescue Squad and the City of Union Utility Department.
Barber said the dryer will remain out of service while it is determined whether or not it is safe to operate or it is replaced. He said it will not impact on the nursing home’s ability to provide its residents with clean linen.
“Our linens are not done here, it is outsourced,” Barber said. “The dryer was used for rags used by the kitchen staff and some personal laundry. We will transport those today and probably for the next few days to the hospital.”
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.