London Fire Brigade

Rotherhithe - launderette fire

26 November 2017

Firefighters have issued a safety reminder after a fire at a launderette in Rotherhithe is believed to have been caused by oil-contaminated textiles self-heating.

Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers were called to the fire in Albion Street.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “These types of fires often involve textiles which become contaminated with oil, most commonly linseed, massage and cooking oil on tea towels, tablecloths and chef whites.

“Sometimes when these materials are cleaned, put in tumble dryers and then folded and stacked, the heat cannot escape, which results in a high enough temperature to smoulder and eventually ignite.

“If you are washing then drying on a hot cycle, always use the cooling cycle on the tumble dryer so it cools down and allows the heat to dissipate properly, before stacking laundered items.”

Part of the shop was damaged by fire and the remainder of the shop was smoke damaged.

Around 30 people were evacuated from flats above the shop by the Brigade as a precaution.

The Brigade was called at 0035 and the fire was under control at 0147. Fire crews from Dockhead, Deptford, Old Kent Road and Whitechapel fire stations attended the scene.