Knoxville Fire Department crews fought two fires in East Knoxville on Monday night.
The first was reported at 7 p.m. on San Juan Lane. When crews arrived, the owner was outside and there was evidence of a malfunctioning furnace. The heating unit had forced smoke out of every register and vent in the home, setting off smoke alarms. No one was hurt.
As crews were wrapping up there, a second fire was reported on Ault Street. Firefighters found a woman and nine children had made it out of the home. Investigators say the fire started because of a clogged dryer vent.
The children range in age from 3 to 15 years old. None of the occupants on Ault Street were hurt, but the Red Cross will assist them.
Nationally nearly 3,000 dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property damage. Failure to clean these vents is the leading cause of dryer fires.