Residents have been warned to take care with electrical hair care devices after a family lost almost everything they owned in a fire started by a hair dryer.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews from Steyning and Partridge Green joined others to tackle the blaze at a semi-detached home in the county after a fire started in a first floor bedroom.
The fire caused substantial damage to the first floor, and smoke damage to the ground floor, but firefighters stopped damage spreading further and protected the property next door.
Investigations into the cause of the fire established that it had been started by a hairdryer under a pile of clothing.
Cameron Mckechnie, who lives at the house with his family, said: “It’s such a shame that a simple thing can cause such devastation, I would like people to learn from this terrible disaster from us and make sure they unplug all their electrical appliances that are not designed to be left on.”
A hair appliance also started a fire in a West Sussex rest home just before Christmas.
The two incidents prompted the safety warning. Gavin Watts, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said of the latest incident: “This devastating fire has had a terrible impact on the family. It is lucky that nobody was hurt and that the prompt and professional actions of our crews stopped the fire spreading further.
“It is very easy for us all to forget that household appliances, like hairdryers and straighteners, can cause such horrific damage if not used carefully. We would urge everyone to make sure appliances like these are switched off and unplugged when not in use and to make sure they are familiar with the manufacturers’ instructions.”
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service also urges anyone who discovers a fire in their home to – get out, stay out and dial 999.