Be careful what you toss into the dryer.
A batch of rags with some sort of chemical on it spontaneously combusted in the Beekman Coin Laundry at 88 Beekman Avenue Sunday afternoon, causing the Sleepy Hollow Fire Department to evacuate upstairs tenants for about an hour and temporarily shut down the business.
"It looked a lot worse than it was," said Fire Chief John Korzelius, describing "lots of smoke" in the business from a fire that was "basically contained to the dryer."
Korzelius spoke to the owner of the laundromat who said it wasn't uncommon for someone to have a lighter left in a pocket or a laborer to have a substance on dirty rags that might ignite in the hot temperature of the dryer. The men checked out the back of the machine and didn't find evidence of any mechanical problem.
Officials evacuated several floors of apartments upstairs for about an hour, "just as a precautionary measure," Korzelius said. The Fire Department also called in the County Origins team to confirm their findings that it was indeed a chemical on rags in the machine, and an accident.
"There was no malicious intent," Korzelius said.
The laundromat is still closed Monday morning, pending the arrival of Con Edison to turn back on the gas but there is no apparent damage, save perhaps for those rags.