Members of the Rexburg police department, Madison Sheriff department and the Madison fire department responded to a fire report on Monday at 11:24 p.m. at the Royal Crest Apartments.
Dawn Brock, a resident at Royal Crest and senior studying English, said she saw the fire and called Carrie Batschi, David Batschi’s wife, as well as the fire department to report the fire. David Batschi is the complex manager.
“We yelled at everyone to get out of the complex, and everyone started evacuating and police showed up and then firemen showed up,” Brock said.
Assistant Fire Chief Mikel Walker of the Madison Fire Department said the fire ignited in a stackable washer and dryer unit and spread throughout the laundry room. Damages were estimated to be around $5,000.
“We don’t get very many dryer fires,” Walker said.
David Batschi said he has never seen a fire start in a dryer, like the way this fire started.
“It looked like one of the dryers had clothes caught in it and caught on fire,” he said.
Jacob Householder, who was visiting some of the students he had home taught during winter semester, was leaving apartment 209 when he smelled a fire and heard David Batschi shouting that it was coming from the laundry room.
“So I grabbed the fire extinguisher in that apartment and ran over, and he and I took turns using the fire extinguishers to smoke out the laundry room,” Householder, a junior studying financial economics, said.
He said that girls continued to bring him and David Batschi fire extinguishers from other apartments.
“After about eight fire extinguishers, the fire was really starting to glow in the room, but we didn’t have any more fire extinguishers with us,” Householder said.
He said he and Batschi ran up to the third floor and got fire extinguishers from those apartments.
Householder said that when they returned to the laundry room there was about a foot of breathable air remaining down by the floor.
“So I laid on the ground and tried to spray towards the flame, but I couldn’t really see where it was coming from,” he said.
Householder said he and the other man were able to put the fire out moments before the fire department arrived.
The fire department continued to check for extensions the fire could have made but found that everything was OK.