Safety warning after family is lucky to escape from blaze

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is asking residents to take care with electrical hair care devices after a family lost almost everything they owned in a fire started by a hairdryer.

 
Last updated:
6 March 2017

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is asking residents to take care with electrical hair care devices after a family lost almost everything they owned in a fire started by a hairdryer.

Crews were called to a property in Sycamore Way, Hassocks, just before 4pm on Friday March 3 to a semi-detached home that was well alight after a fire started in a first floor bedroom.

Crews from Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Partridge Green, Crawley, Steyning and the Intervention and Prevention team tackled the blaze.

The fire caused substantial damage to the first floor, and smoke damage to the ground floor, but firefighters did well to stop damage spreading further and protected the property next door.

Investigations into the cause of the fire continued over the weekend before it was established yesterday evening that it had been started by a hairdryer under a pile of clothing.

Cameron Mckechnie, who lives at the house with his family, said: “It’s such a shame that a simple thing can cause such devastation, I would like people to learn from this terrible disaster from us and make sure they unplug all their electrical appliances that are not designed to be left on.”

Firefighters issued their warning today as a hair appliance also started a fire in a Worthing rest home just before Christmas.

Gavin Watts, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said: “This devastating fire has had a terrible impact on the family. It is lucky that nobody was hurt and that the prompt and professional actions of our crews stopped the fire spreading further.

“It is very easy for us all to forget that household appliances, like hairdryers and straighteners, can cause such horrific damage if not used carefully. We would urge everyone to make sure appliances like these are switched off and unplugged when not in use and to make sure they are familiar with the manufacturers’ instructions.”

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service also urges anyone who discovers a fire in their home to - get out, stay out and dial 999. One of the teenagers at the Hassocks property told fire officers he was surprised how quickly the flames had developed when he tried to go back in to retrieve some items.

  • Appeals run on social media over the weekend have provided the family with some clothing and other items they needed. Please see Clayton Mills Hassocks or Hassocks Uncovered on Facebook for further details.

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