Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers were called to a fire in a shop on Paul Street in Stratford on Wednesday afternoon (31 May)
The fire damaged a utility area on the ground floor. Two people left the building before the Brigade arrived.
Fire investigators believe the fire was the result of self-heating within towels in or around the front of a tumble dryer.
These types of fires often involve textiles that become contaminated with oil, most commonly linseed, massage and cooking oil on tea towels, tablecloths and chef whites.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Sometimes when materials are cleaned, put in tumble dryers and then folded and stacked, the heat from the tumble drying cannot escape. This can result in a high enough temperature allowing it to build up to a point where it 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 allows the heat to dissipate properly, before stacking laundered items together.”
The Brigade was called at 1617 and the fire was under control by 1735. Crews from Plaistow, Leyton, Leytonstone and Poplar fire stations are attending the incident.