Hidden lint in Samsung dryer starts fire in home

(KXAN Photo)
(KXAN Photo)

CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) – A Texas family said their Samsung dryer caught fire twice after lint built up.

The Cowarts say it’s not the lint trap filter that everyone cleans out. The lint is inside the dryer itself and covers electrical heating elements. “There was about 6 to 8 inches deep of lint everywhere and the entire bottom of the dryer caught fire,” Scott Cowart said, pointing out the damage on his dryer. “It’s charred literally everywhere.”

The family said the dryer was extremely hot and smoke started showing quickly. “I was doing a load of laundry and all of sudden smelt fire. It was coming from the dryer that I had just started. I turned the dryer off and unplugged it,” Denise Cowart said.

They’ve had the dryer for about 5 years. The family called a technician and said they were told that the problem is a design flaw.

Doyle Lee with Lee’s Appliance Repair in Leander says he gets a lot of calls about dryers overheating. Lee says it’s a problem with most dryers. He explained that if there’s not a perfect seal, “the fire box or the heat box is in the bottom of the dryer most usually, lint collects on top of it, it gets hot enough… sometimes it will catch on fire.”

Nationwide Insurance Co., on behalf of a family in Ohio, is suing Samsung & Lowe’s. The lawsuit was filed last year and says the family’s home was damaged after the dryer caught fire. As for the Cowarts, they have bought a new dryer.  They said they have also tried to talk to Samsung, but haven’t been able to get any help.

Samsung released a statement Friday:

Samsung investigates and responds to all customer reports so that we can understand the circumstances that may have led each incident. We recommend all owners carefully review and follow the important safety instructions included in the product User Manual that provides information on how to avoid lint accumulation when using a Samsung dryer. Samsung User Manuals can also be downloaded from our website, www.Samsung.com. Customer safety is a priority for us and we encourage anyone with a product concern to contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG.