Consumers warned to stop using tumble dryers after Indesit machine 'causes blaze'

  • Video report by ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi

Consumers have been urged to stop using tumble dryers that are subject to product recall or safety notices following a fire in a Shepherd's Bush tower block last Friday.

A faulty Indesit tumble dryer is believed to have caused the blaze, which ripped through the 18-storey high rise, fire investigators said.

The machine had been subject to "corrective action" by the manufacturer and was due to be attended by an engineer.

London Fire Brigade has now called on Indesit's parent company Whirlpool to urgently change its advice to consumers, which currently says users can continue operating their tumble dryers while waiting for a product modification.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "If your appliance is subject to a safety or recall notice or you think there is something wrong with it our advice is simple. Unplug it immediately and contact the manufacturer or a qualified repair technician.

"The speed with which the fire took hold shows how dangerous a faulty tumble dryer can be. The flat’s occupants had a terrifying ordeal."

Dobson added: "The kitchen quickly became smoke logged and thankfully they noticed the smoke and quickly left the flat and called the Brigade. This decision could have saved lives."

Last week's blaze started in the kitchen of a seventh floor flat while the occupants were using their tumble dryer. They managed to escape while smoke billowed from the machine.

In a statement, Whirlpool said its thoughts are with those affected by the incident.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown and we will assist London Fire Brigade in any way we can as they investigate.

Whirlpool

The residents of four other flats have been rehoused following the fire.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 48 fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales, has warned that faulty tumble dryers cause three house fires each day.

Fire chiefs want manufacturers to recall affected machines as official data shows there were 2,190 tumble dryer fires between 2012 and 2014.

LFB recently launched a Total Recalls campaign aimed at improving white goods fire safety.