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Man injured when dryer catches fire at Concord laundromat

A dryer fire at a laundromat on Loudon Road yesterday afternoon was extinguished before firefighters arrived, but only after leaving a man who helped get the burning clothes outside injured as a result of his efforts.

Sean Toomey, Concord’s deputy fire chief, said firefighters were called to the laundromat at 228 Loudon Road about 3:15 p.m. Toomey said the fire may have been caused by an oily film left in the dryer by some rags in an earlier load. The load that ignited was made up of sheets and towels, he said, and was unlikely to have caused the fire on its own.

Jorge Cruz of Concord said his clothes were in the dryer above when the fire broke out. A woman nearby began screaming, “Fire! Fire! Fire!” Opening the dryer door didn’t help, and neither did closing it, he said.

“I decided to pull all the clothes out,” Cruz said, and then he pushed them outside with a broom. The flames were chest-high, he said, and were put out by someone who brought an extinguisher from next door.

Cruz was taken to Concord Hospital by ambulance. He said he had burns on his arms, legs and chest, and that for a time he had trouble breathing. “My adrenaline was going off,” he said, adding that his injuries were not serious. “I’m fine,” he said.

Cruz said he had a month’s worth of clothes in the dryer. He planned to head back to the laundromat last evening to see whether they were okay.

Toomey said firefighters checked other dryers and found no issues. “It was a very clean facility,” he said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect name for the laundromat.

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