Firefighters are urging people not to leave domestic appliances like dishwashers, tumble dryers and washing machines on when they are out following two separate house fires in Worthing over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Four fire engines were called to a terraced house on Eton Road at 10.22pm on Saturday night (May 28) after a neighbour spotted flames through a first floor window and raised the alarm.
The fire, which started in a washing machine in the utility room, is believed to have gone undetected for some time because the occupier had gone out leaving his machine on and the house was not protected by a working smoke alarm.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were at the scene within 6 minutes of receiving the 999 call and extinguished the fire using two hose reels and a covering jet, but the property was left badly damaged.
At 3.08pm on Monday (May 29) three fire crews from Worthing were mobilised to a fire in a three storey town house in Mulberry Gardens which started after the owners went out leaving their dishwasher on.
Thankfully, the occupiers of a neighbouring property spotted smoke issuing from a window and called 999. The fire was extinguished quickly by attending crews but the first and second floor of the property were damaged by heat and smoke.
Adam Condell, the Watch Manager who attended the fire on Eton Rd, said:
"It's tempting to think you are saving time by running appliances when you are out or when you go to bed, but people really should consider the risk involved. Appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers can overheat or be subject to an electrical fault which may start as something minor but can lead to a devastating outcome if a fire is left undetected.
"We also urge people to have a working smoke detector on each level of their home and ensure they are tested regularly. They are the best way to get an early warning to a developing fire. Don't forget we offer free Home Safety Visits for those people who may be at higher risk from fire."
To find out if you are eligible for a Home Safety Visit call 0845 872 9719
(Picture courtesy of Eddie Mitchell 07771 605974)