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

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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.

For more information see https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/electrical-and-heating-appliance-safety-advice/

Fire

Multiple Fire Crews deal with two fires at Queensway car park in Crawley

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Fire crews from Crawley and Turners Hill were called upon on Saturday (7th Nov) at 8.33pm after two fires were discovered at a car park in Crawley Town centre.

The fires were discovered in the stair well of the car park, but due to there being more than one, multiple crews were called upon to handle the situation.

Passerby say they witnessed a large emergency service presence which included police and even ambulances, but a spokesperson for the fire service said that no-one had been injured.

Crews had to use breathing apparatus to deal with the fires which were extinguished quickly and the crews were able to leave the scene at 9.54pm.

The cause of the fires has not yet been released and the damage to the stairwells has not yet been released.

A West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service spokesperson said:

“We were called to a multi-storey car park in Queensway, Crawley at 8.33pm on Saturday by police.

“Crews dealt with two separate fires in the stairwell of the car park. Crews from Crawley and Turners Hill were in attendance.

“They used breathing apparatus and high-pressure hoses to deal with the fires. We left the scene at 9.54pm.”

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