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Here's what caused the residential fire in Merced Thursday afternoon

Merced home catches fire

Firefighters battle a blaze in a Merced home Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, on Stevens Court
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Firefighters battle a blaze in a Merced home Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, on Stevens Court

A clothes dryer likely caused a fire inside a garage wall of a single family home Thursday in Merced, officials said.

A family was drying clothes in the appliance before 5 p.m. Thursday when one of the four occupants inside the home on Stevens Court noticed smoke emanating from the area, Merced Fire Battalion Chief Corey Haas said.

Merced firefighters responded and discovered a fire in the side wall of the home's garage, Haas said. Firefighters put out the fire within 15 minutes, tearing out the exterior-facing portion of the wall near the home's water heater.

The occupants evacuated the home and didn't report injuries, Haas said.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 2,900 residential fires per year are started by clothes dryers, causing an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss.

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