CARL JUNCTION, MO.--- Carl Junction fire officials are warning residents of a potential fire hazard in their homes. On October 12th, Mary Ayers and her family left their house around 5:30 pm, but only an hour later, neighbors were calling them saying smoke was pouring out of their home. Later, the fire marshal determined the cause of the fire was the Ayers "non-running" dishwasher. Fire officials say it's the second time this has happened to a Carl Junction home since June.
"I was in shock, I was crying," said Mary Ayres, Carl Junction Resident.
Mary Ayres and her family couldn't believe what they saw as the pulled into their driveway the evening of October 12th.
"There was three or four fire trucks, about 100 people in the yard, I wanted to see what all was lost," said Ayres.
Luckily, no one was home at the time and firefighters responded to the call in less than four minutes.
"If it would have taken them another four or five minutes to respond, we probably would have lost the house. It would have gotten into the attic," said Joe Perkins, Carl Junction Fire Department Engineer.
"They did a fantastic job taking care of my home. Putting out the fire as quickly as possible so that there was no further damage," said Ayres.
The fire marshal determined the cause of roughly $80,000 in damage to the Ayres home was because of their dishwasher.
"I couldn't understand why my dishwasher would catch fire when it wasn't running. I feel like that's something I shouldn't have to worry about," said Ayres.
Officials say the control panel on a dishwasher can malfunction causing the fire, so they are offering some advice to homeowners.
"I've made it a common practice in my own home that when I leave now, I actually leave the dishwasher open. Because when it's open, it's supposed to kill the power," said Perkins.
The Ayres had their home and dishwasher for seven years and never had any problems. The day of the fire, they had been preparing to put their house on the market, cleaning for what was supposed to be an open house the next day. That's been postponed, but the Ayres say they're grateful for their supportive community.
"I could not ask for better friends, neighbors, and family. They brought clothes, dinner, money. Everyone came to us," said Ayres.
Both the Ayres and fire officials urge homeowners to do research to make sure their dishwashers aren't recalled or involved in a pending class action lawsuit. We have a link to search for those product recalls, click here.