Family devastated after tumble dryer blaze rips through their home

A FAMILY has been forced to live in a hotel after a blaze caused by a tumble dryer ripped through their home.

Jay and Jemma Spurr, from Whiteley, are now warning others to be careful when using tumble dryers after theirs wrecked their garage.

Which? has raised concerns about the safety of 'repaired' tumble dryers

Which? has raised concerns about the safety of 'repaired' tumble dryers

Firefighters from Fareham and High Point were called to their Mustang Avenue home last Wednesday morning after flames engulfed its attached garage.

Crews took 90 minutes putting out the blaze and making the scene safe.

Extensive smoke damage was caused to the Spurrs’ house and tools, bikes, boxing equipment and other appliances kept in the garage have all been ruined.

Father-of-four Mr Spurr claimed engineers from Hotpoint said the cause of the fire was the tumble dryer.

Two years ago Hotpoint engineers fixed a part on the dryer as it was subject to a recall.

The 39-year-old, who works for the Royal Navy, said: ‘We had no idea this was going to happen but luckily we are careful when it comes to the tumble dryer.

'We only use it when we are in the house and when the recall happened, we got it fixed as soon as we could.

'I want other people to be aware though.

'All six of us are now stuck in a hotel room with no facilities for washing clothes or cooking food and we could be here for weeks.'

Mrs Spurr, 35, had returned from the school run when she put the tumble dryer on and started vacuuming the house. 

When she could smell smoke, she thought it was the vacuum cleaner before seeing smoke coming from the garage.

She called the fire service who attended at 9.12am.

Mr Spurr said even with the tumble dryer fixed after the recall, they still never left it on when they were out.

'In 2016 we got an email saying our Hotpoint tumble dryer was on recall. We arranged for an engineer to come out and he fixed the part that was causing problems,’ he said.

'Now, two years later the tumble dryer has caught alight and ruined the garage and caused smoke damage to the house.

'The engineer said he was sure the appliance caused the fire but it needs to be sent off for forensic testing.

'That could take up to five weeks and they won't pay damage repairs to the landlord until that investigation is done.

'It means me, Jemma and the children will have to live in a hotel until then.'

The family is now staying at The New Place hotel at Shirrell Heath, near Southampton.

A spokeswoman from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said attending firefighters attributed the cause of the fire to the tumble dryer after it set alight.

A spokesperson from Whirlpool, which part-owns Hotpoint, said: ‘Nothing matters more to us than people’s safety and we thoroughly investigate all incidents as soon as they are reported to us. 

‘We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and are doing all we can to understand how this incident took place.

‘Investigations are ongoing and the cause has not yet been identified, therefore it would be inappropriate to draw any conclusions at this stage.

‘We can confirm there have been no reported incidents where the tumble dryer modification has shown to be ineffective and we have total confidence in it.

‘Extensive testing and analysis of the modification both before and since its implementation has shown it provides an effective solution for the issue.

‘An external review with the input from three independent experts in fire safety, product safety, and engineering, concluded that the modification remains the most effective way of rectifying this issue for consumers.’