Mobile phone overheats under quilt and causes Colchester house fire which ‘destroys’ bedroom, firefighters believe
22:15 12 February 2016
A fire believed to have been caused by a mobile phone overheating under a quilt “destroyed” a bedroom in Colchester on Friday night.
Two fire engines were called to the semi-detached house in Harsnett Road at 6.40pm. The blaze was put out shortly after 7.20pm and there were no injuries or anyone trapped.
A first-floor bedroom was “destroyed” by the fire and there were not any smoke alarms in the property, which could have prevented the “substantial” fire, according to sub officer Stephen Smith, of the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.
He said: “We believe the fire was caused by a mobile phone overheating under a quilt.
“There were no smoke alarms inside the property, which could have prevented such a substantial fire. The rear bedroom of the first floor was destroyed by the fire.
“Fortunately, one of the occupiers smelt the fire. Had this been late at night, it could have been a completely different outcome.”
Two people were inside the property when they discovered the fire.
Crews used a thermal image camera to check for hot spots in the building and used two hose reel jets to extinguish the fire.
Two breathing apparatus suits were worn during the fire. A ventilation fan was also used to clear the property of smoke.