UPDATE: Cause of shed fire revealed

Remains after the shed fire in Haywards Heath. Photo by Haywards Heath Fire Service.

Remains after the shed fire in Haywards Heath. Photo by Haywards Heath Fire Service.

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Firefighters have revealed the cause of a fire which destroyed a shed and damaged a property on Wednesday (December 2).

Crews were called to a home in Franklands Village, Haywards Heath, at around 10.15am.

A spokesman for the fire service said crews from Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath spent more than an hour tackling the blaze which destroyed a 5m by 3m garden shed. Part of an adjacent property was also damaged by the flames.

Inspectors believe the cause of the blaze was a tumble dryer which had been left on in the shed.

Incident Commander, Gary Miller, from Haywards Heath Fire Station said: “We’d strongly advise people not to put electrical appliances like tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers on overnight or when they are out.

“These appliances contain powerful motors with fast moving parts that can get very hot. They should always be positioned and used in a well-ventilated area of the house.”

A spokesman for the fire service added the tumble dryer was not believed to be one of the appliances recalled for safety fears last month.

A warning has been released by the fire service urging owners of certain tumble dryers to check whether their appliance is subject to a recent safety notice.

The warning was released after fire chief Sean Ruth discovered that his own appliance was one of those affected.

A safety issue has been identified with large air-venting dryers and condensing dryers manufactured by Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda between April 2004 and September 2015. In rare cases, excess fluff can come into contact with the heating element and cause a fire.

Affected customers are being contacted so that their machine can be repaired but are being told they can still use their appliances as long as they are not left unattended while in operation.

Mr Ruth said:“Checking whether you have one of the affected appliances is really quick and simple. It took me less than a minute to log onto the dedicated website and check the model number of my dryer.

“I would also urge anyone who has older relatives, friends or neighbours who may find it more difficult to check their appliances to assist them in doing so. It doesn’t take long to do but could potentially save their life.”

“Whether your appliance is subject to a safety notice or not we strongly advise people not to run tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers overnight or when they are out and to ensure they are protected by a working smoke detector.”

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