Call for vigilance after tumble dryer fire ruins Christmas for Ellesmere Port woman
A woman from Ellesmere Port is urging residents to take care when using tumble dryers after a fire destroyed her kitchen.
Maxine Hodge cannot spend Christmas at home following the ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident on Sunday 16 December.
She put the tumble dryer on at her house on Buttermere Avenue at around 10.30am.
Maxine then had a shower and when she returned to her kitchen she noticed a small amount of smoke coming from the tumble dryer.
She turned the power off from the plug and then pulled the tumble dryer out from under a worktop to investigate.
With this giving the hidden fire a burst of oxygen, flames shot up from the tumble dryer at that point and set the worktop alight.
The fire quickly spread and after calling 999 for help Maxine was advised to close the kitchen door if she could, which would help hold back the flames, and get out of the house as quickly as possible.
Crews from Ellesmere Port and Chester arrived minutes later and two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were able to extinguish the fire with a hose reel jet before it could spread beyond the kitchen.
But the kitchen has been left completely gutted as a result of the fire and Maxine will now have to spend Christmas at her daughter’s house.
Maxine said: “It was an absolutely terrifying experience and I am so grateful to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for advising me to get out of the kitchen and close the door as this ensured that the fire was contained in one room.
“I am also grateful to the firefighters for turning up so quickly. They were at my home within three or four minutes and they were amazing, putting out the fire before it could spread to the rest of the house.
“I have only been living there since April and I was looking forward to spending my first Christmas in the house.
“That is not going to be possible now due to the extent of the damage that the fire caused – the kitchen is completely gutted.
“I never realised that a tumble dryer can start a fire like that. To be honest I often go out after putting the dryer on.
“On this occasion I did stay at home after putting it on – and it’s a good job that I did!
“I was also fortunate in terms of the location of my tumble dryer – if it was positioned elsewhere in the kitchen I could have been trapped inside the room when flames flew from dryer after I had pulled it out from under the worktop.
“But the incident has undoubtedly spoilt my Christmas and I hope that others learn from what has happened to me and never go out, or even worse go to bed, after putting the tumble dryer on.”
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s tumble dryer safety advice is:
Do not leave a tumbler dryer unattended for significant periods of time after turning it on
Never go out or go to bed while your tumble dryer is being used
Remove the lint/fluff from the trap after every load of clothes dried
Do not cover the vent or any other opening
Wash tea towels and cloths at a high enough temperature to remove any oil and grease from them.
Nick Evans, Head of Prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The tumble dryer fire completely destroyed the kitchen and it occurred at the worst possible time with Christmas fast approaching - but it could have been far worst.
“Thankfully the homeowner was able to escape from the property and by closing the kitchen door she ensured that the fire did not spread beyond the room of origin.
“A few simple precautions can prevent people from being the victims of such fires.
“At this time of year people are particularly busy and have family members and friends visiting for Christmas.
“The last thing anyone wants is to have their Christmas spoilt by a fire so I urge people to be vigilant and to follow our safety advice, not just over the holiday season but all year round.
“I also advise that everyone has working smoke alarms fitted in their homes. These devices give you the time you need to get out safely in the event of a fire occurring.”
Date published: Fri, 21 Dec 2018 15:55:42 GMT