By James Somper
A dad-of-two claims he had to drag his smouldering tumble dryer out of his house after it burst into flames.
John Considine, 62, was at home with his son Eoin, 22, when the pair smelled burning coming from their garage.
The solicitor from Newcastle West, County Limerick, Ireland managed to drag the smouldering tumble dryer out onto his driveway before the blaze took hold.
John claims the tumble dryer was completely destroyed in the blaze and could easily have destroyed his garage if he hadn’t been quick enough.
He said: “It just spontaneously went on fire. It was plugged in but not in use.
“We detected a smell in the air and my son chased up the smell to see what it was.
“Initially we thought it might have been a neighbour having a bonfire or something.
“He went into the garage and it turned out the machine was on fire.
“He started shouting so I ran into the garage and saw that the dryer was on fire.
“It was too handle so I unplugged it, yanked a rope around it and dragged it outside.
“It continued to burn and if anything it was getting more vigorous.
“It burned for 20 minutes and I put it out with the garden hose.”
Whirlpool, the company which makes Hotpoint tumble dryers and washing machines issued a recall on thousands of models in November 2019.
The recall relates to a fault door lock system that is a possible fire risk.
John added that he was lucky that the dryer caught fire during the day as he could have easily slept through it if it had been at night.
He said: “We have house and a garage, it would have burned down the garage with a lot of the contents in if we’d slept through it.
“We’re just lucky that it wasn’t worse.
“We’ve lost our washing machine and it’s certainly an inconvenience during the current lockdown.
“We’ve had to use a clothes line but fortunately the weather has been good so it hasn’t been too bad.”
A Whirlpool spokesman said: “We apologise for any distress and inconvenience Mr Considine has suffered and we are doing everything we can to remedy the situation. We have provided him with a free-of-charge replacement dryer.
“Our customers’ safety is our number one priority which is why we take all reports of this kind extremely seriously, and we have launched an investigation. As our investigations are ongoing we are unable to comment further at this time on the circumstances of the incident.
“We have been running a product safety campaign in relation to certain tumble dryers since 2015, which has been heavily publicised.
“Some models of Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline dryers built between 2004 and 2015 are subject to a product recall. Affected dryers pose a potential safety risk if not modified or replaced by the manufacturer and we urge anyone who believes they may still own one of these products to contact us immediately.
“People can instantly check if their dryer is one of those affected by contacting our call centre – which is open seven days a week – or by using the model checker on our dedicated websites.”