ACU Police and Abilene Fire Department responded to a call from Barret Hall early Friday morning and found smoke gushing from a clothes dryer.
At 12:08 a.m., officer Mike Walters of ACUPD received a call from a student regarding a possible fire in the Barret Hall laundry room, Lieutenant Randy Motz said. Walters proceeded to notify the fire department.
Walters entered the laundry room to the sight and smell of smoke, Motz said. He pulled the smoking dryer away from the wall and unplugged it. Once the fire department arrived, the fire crew removed the appliance from the laundry room and unloaded the smoldering clothes in the parking lot. The clothes were hosed down so a fire would not ignite.
Motz said the problem did not arise from a faulty dryer.
“The gist of the problem: it wasn’t the dryer it appears; (Walters’ police report) says the dryer had too many clothes inside,” Motz said. “It was so packed full of clothes from top to bottom it could barely spin, and it could barely get any air in it. You couldn’t fit another article of clothing in it.”
No one claimed the clothes nor the use of the dryer at the time of the incident, Motz said.
Tyson Tindol, sophomore from College Station, owned the clothes in the dryer. He declined to comment.
ACUPD will not pursue the investigation further, Motz said.
“The reason we didn’t follow up on it is it wasn’t done on purpose,” Motz said. “But it’s not a crime; we just follow up on the crimes. As far as doing stuff that wasn’t real smart or student conduct-type affairs, that’s handled with Res Life. I want to stress it’s not a criminal act.”
Motz offered a reminder to the student population regarding ACUPD’s role on campus.
“That was really good that the student who saw that reported it immediately,” Motz said. “I want to keep encouraging ACU students. They are the best deterrent in regard to crime and in regard to personal safety. If they see something that doesn’t look right, they need to call ACUPD.”
The police department is available 24 hours a day. Students should not worry they may be bothering the officers, Motz said.
“That’s what we’re here for,” he said. “We’d rather make sure everything’s all right.”
Dr. Bob Strader, director of Residence Life Education and Housing, revealed the cause of the fire.
“The source of the fire was the lint had not been removed,” he said. “And it was a little bit overloaded as well. It was noticed by people in Barret, the fire department was called, then the fire was put out. They’re still using the dryers over there, not that one of course, but everything’s still usable over there now. So we’re moving on.”
Strader also offered a tip to students.
“It’s always just a good practice and habit to remove the lint from your dryer before you use it,” Strader said.
As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, the dryer had not been replaced.