Paul Briggs warns others to regularly check their tumble dryers and electrical appliances to make sure it doesn’t happen to them
A pair of newlyweds had a lucky escape after a tumble dryer caught fire and gutted their garage.
Paul and Amy Briggs lost a fridge freezer, power tools, a lawnmower – and even a magnum of champagne, a gift from their wedding at Preston Park a fortnight ago.
The couple, of Brooksbank Close, Ormesby , discovered the fire after Amy, 27, had just emptied the tumble dryer on Sunday night.
When she returned to the garage, she saw smoke coming from it.
Paul, a website administrator at Linthorpe Beds, said: “I was in bed having a nap after a particularly big Sunday dinner when Amy shouted me from downstairs.
“She said ‘the garage is on fire’, which I thought was a bit odd. I saw a lot of smoke coming out from under the door, it was so thick I couldn’t pop my head in.
“The flames were huge.
“I moved the wheelie bins and opened the gate, and thankfully the fire never spread to the house.
“We had some clothes in there, an electric drill and some tools, and I lost a crate of beer.
“But it was only Stella 4, so it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been.”
Two fire engines, one from Grangetown and another from Middlesbrough, rushed to the scene to tackle the blaze at about 8.30pm.
Paul, 30, said he wanted to make sure others regularly checked their tumble dryers and other electrical appliances, to make sure it doesn’t happen to them.
The couple said they were unsure what brand the dryer was – as it was second-hand – but Paul said it was regularly cleaned out.
He continued: “The fire brigade were fantastic, and so were our neighbours.
“They showed me afterwards where the fire had started, it looks like it was an electrical fault.”
Issuing safety advice on behalf of Cleveland Fire Brigade, John Feeney, district manager for Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland, said that those with tumble dryers should “never leave the appliance unattended or running overnight”.
He said: “Never overload your washing machine or dryer, and keep it well ventilated ensuring the vent pipe is kink free, not blocked or crushed in any way.
“Clean the filter in your dryer after every use and have it serviced regularly by a qualified engineer.
“Don’t ignore the warning signs. Does your tumble dryer smell of burning? Are your clothes taking longer to dry? Do the clothes feel hotter at the end of the cycle? Does the external vent flap stay shut when the dryer is on?
“If you notice any of the above, clean the filter and check the vent pipe immediately.”
Original source: Gazette Live