Dryer Fire Ravages Avenel Home

A trapped clothes dryer vent is suspected in the fire that burned from the basement to the roof of the house.

A fire that may have started from a blocked clothes dryer lint trap quickly tore through an Avenel home Wednesday afternoon. 

The quick-moving blaze at 650 East Woodbridge Avenue began in the basement, said Avenel Fire Official Cory Spillar and quickly burned through the upper stories of the house.

About 2:21 pm, a 17-year-old resident noticed the smell of smoke in the home, Spillar said. The teenager tried to put the fire out after he smelled smoke, but to no avail.

The fire quickly spread from the basement near the dryer exhaust to the roof in the back of the house. Neighbors heard explosions, which Spillar said was the fire igniting propane tanks from an outdoor barbeque.

No one at the home was injured, but a firefighter who was holding a water line on the blaze was knocked off his feet when a school bus drove over the hose. The firefighter did not need treatment, Spillar said.

Responding fire units included Avenel, Colonia, Iselin 11, Hopelawn, and Fords, while a Woodbridge fire truck was on standby at the Avenel Fire Department, mere blocks from Wednesday's fire.

"The fire is under investigation, but doesn't seem suspicious," Spillar said.

The dryer vent and pipe leading through a basement window is the apparent source of the blaze. Spillar warned homeowners that they should inspect and clean any dryer vents and pipes monthly because of the build up and danger from trapped lint.

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