Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Family made homeless after tumble dryer fire

On Saturday evening (July 9), firefighters were called to a house fire in Whiteshot Way, Saffron Walden. On arrival, crews found the outbuilding which was attached to the house was on fire and the whole of the family’s home was heavily smoke logged.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reel jets and one covering jet to quickly extinguish the fire. Crews at the scene reported that the fire has started in the tumble dryer.

Due to the damage caused by the fire, the house was uninhabitable. The Red Cross Victim Support unit came to assist the family with immediate welfare support and also helped to make rehousing arrangements.

Luckily, the house had working smoke alarms, so the occupant of the house was alerted to the fire and was able to escape the property quickly and without harm.

Station Manager Paul Curtis said:

Incidents like this show the importance of a working smoke alarm in your home. Smoke alarms provide vital early warning at the first sign of fire giving you and your family time to get safely out of the building.”

“The fire was caused by the family’s tumble dryer. We are urging everyone who owns a tumble dryer to take extra care when using their appliances."

The Service recommends the following tumble dryer safety advice:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Don’t use tumble dryers at night or while unattended
  • Clean the filters after each use to ensure they do not become blocked with fluff
  • Items should be removed from the dryer immediately after the cycle and shaken loose to assist cooling
  • Ensure that the appliance has its own plug socket. Do not overload extension leads. Ensure that no more than 13 amps are in any one plug socket.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service provide free smoke alarms to anyone living in Essex. To arrange a home fire safety visit call: 0300 303 0088 or email

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