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Homeowner has lucky escape after fire ravages Copthorne home



Credit: @CrawleyFire999 (Twitter)

Firefighters in West Sussex are urging residents to take extra care with gas heaters after a house fire in the early hours of this morning.

Joint Fire Control received a number of calls about a house on fire in Copthorne shortly before 2am.

Credit: @CrawleyFire999 (Twitter)

The fire caused significant damage to the ground, first floor and loft space of the property.

Central Group Commander Lee Walton said:

“The homeowner had managed to get out of the property but still needed treatment for smoke inhalation and burns.

“The fire is believed to be of accidental origin, and started within the gas cylinder heater in the resident’s living room. Unfortunately, the spare gas bottle for the heater was also kept in the living room, which fuelled the fire further.

“We would always urge residents not to keep gas cylinders inside the house, and to ensure they are kept securely outside the property to minimise the risk of fire.”

Two fire engines from Crawley were mobilised to the scene, a further appliance from Turners Hill and a fourth appliance from Horsham. Firefighters using breathing apparatus brought the fire under control using jets.

One crew from Turners Hill remained at the property this morning damping down and ensuring there were no further hot spots.

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Safety warning after tumble dried tea towel fire in Langley Green, Crawley



Residents and business owners are urged to take care when using their tumble dryers this winter after a pile of folded, stacked, tumble dried tea towels self-ignited in the early hours of Monday morning.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has issued the warning after being called out to a business premises on Langley Drive, Crawley at 1.56am on Monday after the property’s smoke alarm alerted residents and staff to the fire.

Upon arrival, firefighters from Crawley, Horsham and Turners Hill fire stations found the fire in a ground floor kitchen and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus quickly got to work using two high pressure hose reels, two covering jets and two CO2 fire extinguishers to put out the fire.

Station Commander Lee Walton attended the incident. He said:

“As this property had a working smoke alarm system in place, all occupants in the building were given plenty of time to evacuate the building and there were no injuries sustained.

“Investigations suggest this fire began after a pile of freshly washed and tumble dried tea towels were stacked. By doing this, the heat is unable to escape, and in some instances – as we believe the case to be here – this creates temperatures that are hot enough to start a fire.

“We urge everyone, whether you run a business or are at home using a domestic tumble dryer, to always use the cooling cycle on your machine or to let clothes and linen air properly before folding and putting them away. This allows the heat to disperse and substantially reduces the risk of fire.”

WSFRS is reminding residents of some easy steps to follow when using tumble dryers to ensure they stay safe.

• Make sure that washing temperatures and detergents are appropriate for the best removal of oil based contaminants

• Let laundry complete its cooling cycle in the tumble dryer

• Shake out laundry to ventilate before folding or placing garments on hangers

• Thoroughly clean tumble dryers on a regular basis

• Don’t place warm laundry in polythene bags, plastic containers or in poorly ventilated areas

• Don’t leave freshly laundered fabrics stacked overnight

• Don’t forget to test your smoke alarm – only working smoke alarms give an early warning to a developing fire.

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