Family escape after tumble dryer causes Christmas Day house blaze

Firefighters have urged drivers to mind where they park after being delayed on their way to a fire i

Firefighters in Essex tackled a house blaze in Great Notley on Christmas Day - Credit: Archant

A family were forced to flee their Essex home on Christmas Day after a tumble dryer caused a fire after they went to bed. 

Two fire crews from Chelmsford and one from Braintree were called to the house blaze, in Hidcote Way, Great Notley, at just after 9.35pm. 

Flames were "bursting out of the downstairs windows" when crews arrived but the firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in under an hour. 

Essex Fire and Rescue Service said the cause of the blaze was found to be a tumble dryer, which had been turned on before the family went upstairs to bed.

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The family were able to escape their home and call the fire service. 

Ean Summerfield, watch manager, stressed the importance of taking care when using tumble dryers.

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He said: "When the first firefighters from Braintree arrived at the house, the fire was bursting out of the downstairs windows and the whole house was full of smoke.

"Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and got inside the property really quickly to tackle the fire. They managed to stop the fire spreading to the rest of the property and contained it to the kitchen and utility room.

"The family were alerted to the fire by a loud bang and when they got downstairs they saw smoke pouring out of the tumble dryer so immediately went outside to safety and called 999 which is exactly the right thing to do.

"Our crews worked really hard to extinguish the fire as quickly as possible. The fire was contained to the utility and kitchen which have been badly damaged, but the rest of the house has suffered smoke damage which means the house is now uninhabitable.

"Incidents like this show how important it is to take extra care when using tumble dryers and we would advise that they should never be turned on while you are asleep or if you are out."

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