By Jess Grieveson-Smith
A couple are facing £125,000 worth of debt after a blaze caused by a tumble dryer tore through their home – just as their home insurance expired.
Waking at 4am to the smell of smoke, Jaswinder Singh Mudhar, 57, a self-employed gas engineer, quickly sprang into action to rescue his family from the fumes, but the damage to their home was devastating.
Jaswinder, and his wife Harminder Mudhar, 51, a nurse, claim that the accident caused smoke and fire to tear through the house, causing extensive damage to the entire ground floor and parts of the top floor.
The couple claim their Hotspot Whirlpool tumble dryer was faulty as it wasn’t even on when the blaze happened.
They’ve estimated that the damage caused to their property is in excess of £80,000 with a further £45,000 worth of personal property being ruined.
Jaswinder, from Bomford Hill, Worcester said: “We’d just paid off the entire mortgage and our insurance was tied to it, we’re gutted.
“When I woke up in the early hours of the morning, I smelt burning straight away.
“I woke my wife and she couldn’t smell it initially – but as soon as she could, I ran to the landing.
“I knew instantly – the hot air and smoke hit me straight away as soon as I opened the door from my bedroom.
“We rushed downstairs to escape and could see the fire from the dryer had completely engulfed the kitchen.
“I had to pull my dog, Dylan from the house.
“He was petrified, he is a big American Akita so it was hard work with him biting me as I did it.
“Our children weren’t home, our youngest is 22 and in his final year at university, but telling all three of my children that the house had burnt down was heartbreaking.
“For this kind of accident, you just can’t prepare.
“We’ve been left with basically nothing, and have been living in the shed in the garden as we try and make the upstairs at least habitable again.”
Jaswinder spent a day in hospital due to smoke inhalation, as he had tried desperately to salvage personal belongings from the wreckage.
With an estimated cost of damage at £80,000 and further personal items lost to the fire, the parents of three estimate that they are roughly £125,000 in debt.
Jaswinder added: “We tried to seek compensation because it turned out the tumble dryer had caused the fire and had been part of a faulty batch.
“But we weren’t happy with what we were offered – the entire experience has been horrendous.
“The machine was plugged into the wall, switched off and hadn’t been used in days.
“My middle daughter, Kiran Mudhar, 27, is getting married next month, and now we’re having to cut on costs.
“A house we can rebuild but memories and personal belongings can’t be repurchased.
“We lost so many irreplaceable things in the fire that we can’t put a price on.”
Since the fire, Harminder with the help of friends and colleagues, has been re-fitting and repairing the house as best he can, but the family will move out as a result.
Whirlpool, the company that made the tumble dryer, is recalling tumble dryers sold under its Creda, Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline and Swan brands.
The flawed dryers were all made between April 1 2004 and September 30 2015.
The flaw is said to be caused by excess fluff touching the the machines’ heating elements, which can cause a fire.