Wash Ashore dryer fire quickly snuffed out

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Updated 12:30 pm Weds.

Friday afternoon, Oak Bluffs fire, EMS, and police responded to a report of fire at the Wash Ashore Coin Operated laundromat at 7 Circuit Ave. Extension. They were joined by Edgartown and Tisbury firefighters. The fire was in two dryers and a laundry cart, according to Oak Bluffs Deputy Fire Chief Stephen Foster. Chief Foster said a worker attacked the dryers with an extinguisher, and firefighters later snuffed out what still burned. Foster said the call came in just after 2 pm. As a precaution, while enroute, Chief Foster said he paged out a first alarm structure fire. This brought additional firefighters from Oak Bluffs and neighboring towns.

Upon arrival, Chief Foster said heavy smoke issued from the front of the building. Firefighters discovered two dryer units had “active fire in them.”

“The worker who was inside the building had removed some of the contents and brought it outside,” Chief Foster said, “so not only did we have fire inside the units, but we had a small fire inside a push carriage. So first arriving units extinguished both fires. Mutual aid companies helped with ventilation.”

Chief Foster said the owners of the building came on the scene, and are working with the Oak Bluffs Fire Department to determine what caused the fire. 

Chief Foster noted the dryers are fed by propane. 

A handful of firefighters came in and out of the building with air packs on when The Times came on scene. A large group of firefighters in air packs assembled in front of the building, but ultimately didn’t enter. They took off their gear as other firefighters decoupled hoses and put equipment back onto trucks. 

The laundromat is located in a busy part of Oak Bluffs, and spectators were able to watch the fire department response from their bar stools across the street at the Sand Bar. 

The worker who employed the fire extinguisher was examined by Oak Bluffs EMS and cleared, Chief Foster said. 

An earlier version of this story attributed the initial fire extinguisher attack to Oak Bluffs Police. Subsequent information showed that was not the case.  –Ed.