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Family homeless after fire in tumble dryer

The fire started in the Indesit tumble dryer Photo: Chelsea Garnham

A fire in an Indesit tumble dryer has left a family homeless. The machine destroyed their property only weeks after the manufacturer had been contacted.

Anyone who owns an Indesit, Hotpoint or Creda dryer manufactured between April 2004 and October 2015 must check if their machine is affected.

Susan Garnham from Guildford saw flames coming from the back of the tumble dryer. She left the property with her husband and son.

Fire and rescue investigators said the blaze started in the tumble dryer and spread throughout the property.

The Garnhams had been in touch with the parent company, Whirlpool, after it announced that a significant number of machines would need to be recalled because of concerns that they could cause a fire.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service attended the blaze Credit: Chelsea Garnham

We investigate all reported incidents thoroughly. In the particular case of the Garnham’s property, our engineer will visit the property in the coming days and we will subsequently examine it in detail. However, until we have completed these investigations, you will understand we are unable to comment further.

The safety of our customers is our number one priority. We are working diligently to ensure the outreach and service campaign is carried out in a safe and timely manner. This includes rapidly and actively engaging directly with our customers, as part of large-scale outreach and service campaign, with bespoke websites, online model checker and dedicated phone helpline all set up.

The success of the programme depends on as many customers as possible registering with us for a free repair as soon as possible. We urge everyone who owns an Indesit, Hotpoint or Creda dryer manufactured between April 2004 and October 2015 to check if their dryer is affected. They can do this using the model checker on two bespoke websites we have created - https://safety.hotpoint.eu/ and https://safety.indesit.eu/ - and then register for a free modification if it is. Alternatively they can call our dedicated freephone helpline on 0800 151 0905, where our call management remains at 99% of inbound consumer calls answered within 30 seconds waiting time. We are currently following up with outbound calls on our letters to over 2 million individual customers we’ve contacted as of today. By next week we will have sent over 3.4 million letters to individual households. We have had 860,000 registrations on our website and have resolved 114,000 cases.

– Whirlpool
The flames spread throughout the property Credit: Chelsea Garnham

As an extra precaution, the company is asking that consumers do not leave their dryers unattended during operation (i.e. do not leave the house or leave the dryer on whilst asleep). They should also regularly clean the lint filter after every cycle and ensure proper venting, "in accordance with the original instructions for use".

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