RUMFORD — Employees were evacuated early Tuesday morning from the Rumford Falls Fraternal Order of Eagles 1248 building after a clothes dryer caught fire and smoked up the basement, Rumford fire Chief Robert Chase said.

He credited the Eagles’ box alarm and sprinkler system for preventing worse fire damage.

“They have a good system,” he said of the early notification and extinguishing equipment. “It was a good save.”

At 6:52 a.m., Chase said the box alarm rang into the Rumford Fire Department, sounding a fire alarm that there was smoke in the basement at the Eagles building at 10 Oxford Ave.

Firefighters found the sprinkler system had activated and put out the fire, leaving them to do overhaul work, Chase said.

Bar towels and mop heads were in the dryer, he said.

Eagles Trustee Edward Fontaine estimated damage from the dryer malfunction at “probably under $1,000, but I have to find out tomorrow if we have to replace the floor.”

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