AUGUSTA — A sleeping Eastern Avenue man was alerted to a fire in his home early this morning by smoke detectors.

The man, who is renting the single-family home at 441 Eastern Ave., was woken up by smoke detectors going off, called 911 to report the fire, and escaped unharmed, according to Fire Chief Roger Audette.

Damage was limited to about $5,000 and Audette anticipated the man, whose name he did not have, would be able to return to the home later today.

“The smoke detectors alerted him; he was sound asleep,” Audette said. “If he didn’t have those, it could have been much worse. The damage was limited because of the detectors.”

Audette said the fire started at the back of a dryer in the basement. The dryer was running at the time and Audette said the cause of the fire was likely either an issue with the dryer vent or an overloaded dryer.

Firefighters responded to the fire at 6:20 this morning and had left the scene by 7:15 a.m.

Part of Eastern Avenue was shut down for about a half-hour during the fire.

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