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Tributes paid to second victim of Crawley Down double murder

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The family of Amy Appleton, 32, of Hazel Way, Crawley Down, one of two women murdered in the West Sussex village on Sunday, 22 December, has paid tribute to her, saying:

“We have lost a beautiful, caring daughter, sister and friend. Amy had an amazing personality. She was such a strong, positive person who always smiled.

“She was a rock for her family, a rock for her friends and most of all a rock for herself. Amy always thought of others before herself.”

“Amy led the life she was destined to fill, following her passions. Her school will be missing an incredible, dedicated teacher, she gave 110 per cent to her pupils. Her light will always shine in our lives but a hole has been left with broken hearts.

“The whole family would like to send heartfelt thanks for all kind messages and thoughtful tributes. Keep shining our girl, you will forever be in our hearts.”

Their words follow a separate, earlier tribute to Sandy Seagrave, 76, of Kiln Road, Crawley Down, who was the other woman to sadly lose her life in the pre-Christmas incident in Hazel Way.

A 37-year-old man, found seriously injured at the scene, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder. He was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, where he remains on life support and in a critical condition.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Friday, of the Surrey and Sussex major crime team, said:

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the victims’ families, who continue to be supported by specialist trained officers. I would ask that people respect their privacy at this distressing time.”

Police continue to investigate the incident and if anyone has information that may help, they can report online or call 101, quoting Operation Deanland. Alternatively, they can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Lifestyle

Safety warning calls after two washing fires including one in Southgate, Crawley

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Firefighters are reminding householders of some simple safety steps when using electrical appliances such as tumble dryers and washing machines.

It follows two incidents in two days.

In the first incident firefighters were called after a pile of folded washing caught fire after being tumble-dried over the weekend.

A crew from Bognor Regis Fire Station was mobilised at 01.56am on Saturday to reports of a fire in a home on Lion Road in Pagham.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the property was heavily smoked logged, but thanks to a working smoke alarm, the three occupants had been alerted and had been able to escape from the property.

The fire started after the home owner had washed and tumble-dried some towels earlier on in the evening. These were then stacked and put in a hessian type bag in the hallway. But in the early hours of the morning, the towels, which had self-heated, began to smoke and caught fire. Fortunately, the homeowner had a working smoke alarm.

Crews removed the towels to fresh air and extinguished them.

In the second incident  at 4.10pm on Sunday, firefighters were called to a washing machine fire in a first floor flat in Imperial Mews. Two appliances from Crawley and a Surrey Fire & Rescue Service crew from Salfords were mobilised. On arrival, firefighters wearing two sets of breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using a hose reel and a CO2 extinguisher.

The fire damaged washing machine was removed from the property. Nobody was injured during the incident, but the property sustained smoke damage which meant the resident needed alternative accommodation for the night.

Simon Foster, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Performance Risk and Improvement Team Group Manager said:

“At this time of year, people are using their tumble dryers far more than at other times of the year.

“When taking clothes out of the tumble dryer, make sure you wait for laundry to cool down before putting it away. Oil residue and oxygenating chemicals from stain removing detergents can create a chemical reaction causing items like tea towels to self-heat, smoulder and could catch fire.

“Once clothes have cooled down, make sure you store them in a well-ventilated area.”  

The fire service is reminding people of the following safety tips when using electrical appliances:

•Look out for product recall notices.

•Register your appliance – appliances up to 12 years old can be registered on the Register My Appliance website.

•Don’t run appliances such as tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers overnight or when you are out.

•Always read the manufacturer’s instructions.

•Have your appliance serviced by a qualified engineer.

•Do not put rags or materials into a tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids. You can find out more about home fire safety by visiting the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service website here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/electrical-and-heating-appliance-safety-advice/

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