Ok, so by the very title you have probably already realized that my blunder should have been obvious, but it was not. More about the flames in a minute, first a bit of history.
We moved into our new home 2 weeks ago. It was a move that was a long time coming. A new (2 year old) 3000 square foot house located in a nice neighborhood with just about every amenity we could ask for save a hot tub. What a great event!
Other than the fact that we had to move of course.
I have never liked moving. I am horrible at it. Sure, I can lift things, put them down, all of that. The area of suckage for me comes from the organizational aspect. I pack horribly and have a hard time deciding what to do next, all of which leads to exhaustion and frustration. None of that has bearing on this story other than to illustrate my frame of mind at the time of the incident in question.
Now, dear reader, I am not attempting to excuse my lack of foresight. Indeed I take responsibility, the decision was ultimately mine.
In the new house, all of the bedrooms are upstairs and most of the living areas, save the loft / family room, are downstairs. In a stroke of brilliance, the laundry room was placed upstairs to cut down on the up and down trips for the unending stream of dirty clothes created by 2 adults and 2 children. The only real issue turned out to be getting the appliances upstairs to the laundry room.
The stairway is beautifully designed with a 90 degree turn about 1/3 of the way up. Most of the day we had struggled with this corner while hauling dressers, king and queen mattresses, a couch, a desk and other large furnishings. Finally we came to the big boys. The washer and dryer.
After getting the washer to the corner, we quickly realized that making the turn would be nigh impossible. We had 2 of us on the bottom pushing it up and one on the top directing the ascent. There was not room on the tiny landing at the corner to set it upright and get back in behind it. We contemplated rolling it on its top, then laying up the remaining stairway and then rolling it back upright at the top of the stairs.
To our surprise, it worked! We managed to manhandle the beast the rest of the way into the laundry room and collapse for a respite. As we recuperated we discussed the dryer. Its weight was a fair amount less than the washer, but the bulk was still the problem so we agreed (again, my decision ultimately) to employ the same technique that had worked so wonderfully on it’s mate.
As expected, we did get it upstairs with considerably less effort. Yay for us! Sure, there was some odd noises in side as we tipped it, things falling that had likely been inside pockets of washed clothing, that sort of thing. The point was, it was upstairs and it worked!
About two weeks later as I was arriving home from work, my lovely wife and son where rotating some laundry for me. As the duty usually falls in my lap, I was most appreciative of their efforts. I was still on the main floor hanging up my coat and such when there was a lout *POP* from upstairs, the sound of panic and shuffling feet.
As I ascended to the top level, I could hear the voices of my wife and son. Words like “It’s on fire” and “There was a spark” drifted to my ears prompting me to dash the rest of the way. Fortunately the fire had died out almost as quickly as it had started, and the drier power was no longer on thanks to the circuit breaker. My son had the level-headedness to pull the vent off of the wall as well to prevent fire from going into the house vent, good job son!
It turns out that the upside-down trip had dislodges some coins that may have been inside the dryer for years, possibly. Some of the coins became stuck on the top during the turning. At some point, one of the coins dislodged and fell into a circuit, causing a short with a spark that ignited some lint inside the beast.
In the end, we were lucky. Nobody was injured and no serious damage was done. After having a repairman look at the dryer to clean it out and confirm it was working properly everything went back to normal. The only damage was a slight ding to the bank account and some damage to my pride, but that was minimal and will quickly heal.
The lesson was well learnt and I will never again attempt to “roll” something like that. A better lesson may even have been to hire somebody to do it, and indeed had we more notice about the move, we would have done so. I also realize the value of having service done to the twin beasties and will put that on our annual to do schedule.
If you’ve read this far into my lengthy recount, you must truly be bored! i hope I entertained and possibly enlightened a little. Until next time, fair reader!