Fire sprinklers save Chapel Hill family's Christmas
Posted December 25, 2011
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Chapel Hill firefighters credited a sprinkler system with saving a family and their Christmas celebration from a dryer fire Saturday evening.
A woman called 911 around 6:45 p.m. to report that her clothes dryer was on fire in her apartment at 1900 Baity Hill Drive in the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill's Family Student Housing complex, said Capt. Mary Blevins, with the Chapel Hill Fire Department.
When firefighters arrived, they discovered that a sprinkler over the dryer had turned on, keeping the fire contained to the dryer, she said. Firefighters extinguished it completely.
The family of five, including three children, and other people in the apartment building got out safely. The first floor of the building had smoke and water damage.
The family of five was displaced, so authorities helped them find temporary shelter, Blevins said. The South Orange Rescue fed them dinner, and firefighters brought them their clothes, personal items and Christmas gifts from the apartment.
"Santa was notified of the new address and heartily agreed to modify his delivery schedule accordingly, much to the delight of the children," Blevins said.
She urged people to never leave or go to sleep while a dryer is running, saying that dryers cause more than 15,000 fires in the country each year.