SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Firefighters say a fire inside a dryer caused serious damage to three homes in north Springfield.
Firefighters responded to the fire around 12:30 p.m. in the 2500 block of West Atlantic. The fires displaced three families.
Firefighters say the fire started inside the dryer. It then quickly spread to two neighboring homes. The fire destroyed the first home. The two other homes sustained moderate damage. The fire marshal is investigating the fire, however they believe it was accidental.
Ricky Russell has lived in the same mobile home park for 18 years. Thursday, he watched his old trailer and his current one go up in flames.
"I was sitting in my RV instead of the house trailer and the first thing I heard was when the fire truck pulled into the driveway and all of the commotion," Russell said.
He said he watched as the fire spread to his home.
"The fire jumped over my trailer in the leaves and put fire on the back side," Russell said. "I got a little panicked then because it was fixing to burn up all the stuff I have."
Battalion Chief Eric Latimer said none of the homes had working smoke alarms.
"It's very important to make sure you have working smoke alarms because things can happen very quickly," he said. "If this was at night it could have been a different story."
Russell said he tries to be prepared because of his experience with a fire in the past.
"I [have] smoke detectors as well as carbon monoxide detectors in my home," he said. "Actually, [I have] 3 in the RV."
Latimer said the lack of smoke detectors wasn't his only concern.
"We had some folks try to go back into the house to try and get their pets out," he said. "When you're out of the house stay out of the house [and] let us get the pets."
Russell said he considers himself to be one of the lucky ones because he and his wife still have their RV.
"I am thankful," he said. "At least I have a place to stay tonight."
Everyone inside the homes escaped without injury thanks to neighbors knocking on doors. The Red Cross is assisting the victims.