CSFD report: Fire that displaced College Station family started in dryer vent

The family has faced several financial hurdles as they seek to replace everything they lost in the fire.
The family has faced several financial hurdles as they seek to replace everything they lost in the fire.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 11:24 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2023 at 1:44 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Each year fire departments across the nation respond to thousands of home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines and that’s what happened to a College Station family in April.

“I ran to the stairs and looked at the bottom of the stairs and there was fire,” said Bria Landry, who was home in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 2nd when her apartment caught fire. “We literally had only a few seconds to escape.”

Landry was home with her boyfriend, Branden Art Price. The couple lived in the apartment with Bria’s three kids but thankfully this morning the children were staying at another place. Everything inside the apartment on Southwest Parkway was destroyed including all the computers and equipment the couple uses for their home-based media production and entertainment companies.

“Literally, you had DJ mixers, productions boards, keyboards, different things like that. Pretty much everything to run an entire media suite or production studio,” said Price.

The College Station Fire Department determined the origin of the fire was the horizontal vent that ran from the dryer to the outside wall near the front door. According to the National Fire Protection Association, these types of fires can be caused by improper cleaning and maintenance.

Consumer Reports has these four tips to help minimize similar risks in your home.

Bria and Branden say a big lesson learned from this tragedy is making sure that personal belongings are covered by insurance. It’s something they’re now urging other renters to review sooner than later.

“Make sure to check out your insurance policy and make sure it covers everything because just the one that you get through the apartments that they require to pay only covers their property.”

It’s common for apartment complexes to require insurance that protects the building and property but any additional insurance to cover personal losses is up to the tenants. The couple says when they first moved into the complex, they were aware of this and didn’t have much to insure at the time, but as their companies grew and they purchased more electronics, they admittedly failed to insure those newer belongings.

The couple is thankful they survived, and they’re thankful for the immediate help they received in the days following the fire but they admit, getting back on their feet has been tougher than they could have ever imagined.

“In the days and weeks that progressed I’m just going to be frank, it was very tough,” said Price.

The couple says the American Red Cross and College Station Fire’s CART team were very helpful with immediate needs but in the days and weeks that followed the fire, they learned resources available were tough to access because they moved in with family members in another county.

To help with the finances they incurred, the family has set up a GoFundme account.