Tumble dryer blaze ruins Yorkshire family's house - and means they'll miss Christmas at home
and live on Freeview channel 276
A mum says she has 'lost everything' after her home was ruined by a tumble dryer blaze.
Kelly Feaviour, 42, says her family "lost everything" in the October fire and have had to move out of their council-owned property. Kelly, husband Matthew, 44, and her three children aged 19, 16, and 12 have been living in a hotel since, she says.
This means they haven't had a home-cooked meal in a month - and are living out of suitcases. Kelly's local council confirmed the fire was caused by a tumble dryer and said alternative accommodation had been offered.
The mum-of-three, from Bramham, West Yorkshire, said: "We’ve lost everything, and we can’t get in our house for months. I feel distraught. I’m at my lowest point but I’m happy we all survived and we didn’t get hurt. I know it's only material stuff, but I have three children with disabilities. It’s very hard to know that you’ve lost everything, and the children have lost everything. They can't even have Christmas in their house because of the fire - it's not fair.”
The fire started on October 19 when Kelly put a load of washing in her new tumble dryer before heading out. The machine, which Kelly had purchased just weeks prior, went up in flames while it was left unattended.
Luckily, her neighbour spotted the blaze and rushed over to check no one was in - alerting Kelly's 19-year-old son to the fire who was in the house at the time. Thankfully, no one was hurt and fire service were able to stop the blaze.
But now Kelly says her entire home has been smoke damaged, and the outhouse containing the tumble drier is badly scorched from the flames. Leeds City Council confirmed the blaze was started by the tumble dryer.
But Kelly claims the trip switch should have prevented a surge – and says the electrician who investigated after the incident said it hadn’t worked on that occasion.
The council said there was "no evidence that faulty electrical installation contributed to the fire". Kelly is now warning other tenants to get their electrics checked out as she says her family are going to miss out on Christmas due to the fire.
Kelly said: “I’d put the tumble dryer on for 10 minutes and gone out - within 20 minutes I got a phone call from my son screaming down the phone to get home because the shed was on fire. The neighbours came running over and banging on the door and luckily my son heard the door. She managed to get him out, he only had his boxers and dressing gown on.
“The fire had come from a brick outhouse and melted my kitchen door, everything in my kitchen was melted. It went straight through and smoke damaged every single part of my house and left us with nothing. After the fire, the electrician came out on the same day – he pulled my husband into kitchen, flicked the box up and said he was sorry, but the trip switch didn’t trip.
“It’s supposed to stop the fire and stop the electricity running, we probably only would have had a broken dryer if that had tripped."
A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “Following a full investigation, the cause of the fire at the property was identified to be the tumble dryer, there was no evidence that faulty electrical installation contributed to the fire. The council identified a hotel for Ms Feaviour and her family and had arranged to pay for accommodation while repairs were taking place, this offer remains in place.”
A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Don’t overload your tumble dryer – as well as your clothes taking much longer to dry and costing you more money, overloading can cause a fire risk; the element at the back of the tumble dryer can cause the clothing to overheat and combust."
"If you have clothing which has been contaminated with substances such as solvents, grease, oils, or fats, dry them naturally; don’t dry them in your tumble dryer as these substances can all ignite when in contact with extreme heat.
"Keep your tumble dryer well-maintained – clean it each time you use it by cleaning and clearing the filters from lint and fluff. Ensure the machine is well-ventilated, that there are no kinks in the ventilation pipe and that any external vent flap is able to open when the dryer is on. Don’t use the dryer if it develops scorch marks or you notice any damaged or loose wires. Remember, always follow the manufacturer's instructions. We also recommend checking your fire alarms/smoke detectors."