Warning after drying laundry sparks fire


Release date: 12 March 2021

Firefighters are urging people not to use electric fires and radiators to dry clothes after a fire broke out in a property in Shoreham this morning.

Firefighters from Shoreham and Worthing fire stations were mobilised to the scene of the fire on West Street at 9.26am after the fire broke out. Paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service were also sent to the scene.

Station Manager Rod Gates, who attended the incident, said: “One of the property’s occupants was rescued by a neighbour prior to our arrival, and firefighters quickly located another resident inside the house and brought them to safety. They were then able to bring the fire under control using one high pressure hose reel, a safety jet and a covering jet.

“The fire broke out in the first floor bathroom, and early investigations suggest that clothing was being dried on an electric radiator, which then caught fire. We would urge all residents not to use electric heaters to dry clothing, as it can heat up incredibly quickly. Heaters should be placed on a level surface, at least one metre away from any combustible materials to minimise the risk of a fire breaking out.

“Unfortunately this property did not have working smoke alarms in place. Smoke alarms are your first line of defence in the event of fire and will alert you that something is wrong, giving you and your family time to evacuate to a place of safety. We recommend that all households are fitted with a working smoke alarm on each level of the property, and are tested once a week to ensure they are working properly.

“Firefighters remained at the scene of this fire this morning ventilating the property and used a thermal imaging camera to ensure there were no further signs of fire within the property. They also fitted smoke alarms at the property before visiting neighbouring homes to ensure residents there had working smoke alarms, and reminded them to check them at least once a week.”

You can find more home fire safety advice on the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Section of our website.

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