Lucky escape after tumble dryer fire

Pauline Nibbs with her fire damaged tumble dryer. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160609-131424005
Pauline Nibbs with her fire damaged tumble dryer. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160609-131424005

A Market Harborough woman had a lucky escape after a fire in her home.

Pauline Nibbs became one of three people every day in Britain who suffer a tumble dryer fire.

Pauline (57), who lives in Tungstone Way on the town’s southern estate, managed to see the blaze early on Monday night and evacuate the house.

Her four dogs also escaped the fire.

But she said: “I was lucky really. I could have been asleep upstairs or out of the house when this happened.”

The Local Government Association (LGA) says tumble dryers are now one of the biggest causes of house fires in the country.

Three house fires a day in Britain are caused by tumble dryers, says the LGA.

In a statement the association said: “People must take simple precautions using tumble dryers.

“The compartment where fibres from fabric build up should be cleaned out after every load of clothes is dried, to reduce the risk of it igniting, and the vent or any other opening should not be covered.

“People should never leave tumble dryers on overnight or when they go out.

“People also need to ensure they have a working smoke alarm, which can be a life-saver in the event something does go wrong, and test them regularly, ideally once a week.”

Pauline was watching television at about 9pm on Monday night when she smelt burning and heard a loud bang.

She found the tumble dryer, which she keeps in a cupboard under the stairs, was well alight.

“I managed to get the burning towels out and chucked them in the garden” she said.

“But then I found the tumble drier itself was alight, and phoned the fire brigade.”

She had praise for the “amazing” local fire and rescue service who were quickly at the scene.

Pauline’s tumble dryer was not one of the high-risk brands highlighted in a recent report.

Some 5.3 million faulty tumble dryers were manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015 and sold in the UK.

Affected brands are Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline.