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The Brigade is warning people not to tackle fires themselves after two passers by were injured removing laundry which caught fire inside a tumble dryer at a Hackney laundrette.
The fire on Tuesday afternoon damaged the door and panels of the tumble dryer as well as the tea towels and aprons inside it . The rest of the ground floor laundrette was left smoke logged.
Two passers by, who had removed the contents of the dryer when they noticed the fire, and taken them outside were treated for smoke inhalation and a burn to the hand.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Although these passers by were well intentioned, it is vital that you never try and tackle a fire yourself as they can cause injuries as seen in this incident. Stay well away from the fire and always get out, stay out and call 999 right away.”
Fire investigators believe the fire at the laundrette on Lower Clapton Road was the result of self-heating within the towels and aprons that had been laundered and left in the dryer. Once the drying cycle had finished the oils still in the laundry continued to heat up.
The Brigade spokesperson added: “Sometimes when materials are cleaned, put in tumble dryers and then either left inside or taken out and folded and stacked, the heat from the tumble drying cannot escape. This can result in the temperature building up to a point where the material smoulders and eventually ignites.
“If you are washing and then drying on a hot cycle, always use the cooling cycle on the tumble dryer so it cools down and allow the heat to dissipate properly, before stacking laundered items together.”
The Brigade was called at 1614 and the fire was under control by 1734. Crews from Homerton, Leyton, Dockhead and Dowgate fire stations attended the incident