WINDHAM — A fire that started in a basement clothes dryer forced a family of five to flee their Windham home Wednesday evening.

Windham Fire Chief Brent Libby said that the family, who lives at 608 Gray Road, was able to escape safely after smoke detectors alerted them to the fire.

Libby said the fire did not spread to the upper floors of the home, but it did cause extensive smoke and water damage to the basement area.

The family will stay with friends until the damage can be repaired. Libby said the family should be able to return to the home in a couple of days.

The fire was reported at 6:47 p.m.