7.2.16 Tumble dryer suspected of causing fatal house fire in Frankley


A woman died in a house blaze in Frankley which is thought to have been caused by a tumble dryer.

Fire crews were called to the semi-detached property on Coriander Close, just before 4.20pm on Sunday 7th February.  When they arrived, they found the fire was confined to the tumble dryer and surrounding kitchen units of the two-storey semi detached property.

The woman who is believed to be in her late 40s, died at the scene.  She has not yet been named.

Fire investigations officers were returning to the property today to retrieve the tumble dryer for further analysis.

Four crews from Kings Norton and Northfield were called to the incident on Sunday.

A spokeswoman said: “Further investigations on the tumble dryer are continuing because we are not sure if it’s a recalled tumble dryer.  There is no evidence to suggest that it is at the moment.”

A West Midlands Police spokesman said they were called to support the fire service at the scene.

He said: “It is not being treated as suspicious and there was no further police involvement.”

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said “We were called shortly after 4.15pm on Sunday.  A paramedic in a rapid response vehicle, an ambulance crew and a paramedic area support officer in a rapid response vehicle attended.

“A woman was confirmed dead at the scene.”

A number of safety messages have been issued by the fire service concerning tumble dryers.  They advise users to remove the lint from the trap after every dried load, never to cover the vent or any other opening and ensuring the vent pipe is free of kinks and is not crushed in any way.  Householders are also told to use vent pipes that are recommended for use with tumble dryers, not improvised ones, to only vent the warm air to the outside of a building if required and not to put rags or materials into the drier if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids.

West Midlands fire investigators are inquiring into the fatal house fire in Frankley after the tumble dryer caught fire.  A spokesperson for West Midlands Fire Service said today: "Our fire investigators have carried out initial examinations of the tumble dryer.  They have established that it is not a model on any current recall list.  "It is likely to be some weeks before the precise cause of the fire is known, and whether it was linked to a product fault.  This will depend on the outcome of detailed forensic examinations."

Fire investigators will be carrying out a more detailed investigation into the cause of the fire but West Midlands Fire Services say enquiries will be focused around the tumble dryer.

The fire service was called at 4.19pm on Sunday, February 7 but the fire was out on arrival. 

Neighbours and family members forced their way into the property before fire crews arrived but were unable to help the victim.

Paramedics confirmed the woman had died at the scene.

Turnbull Fire Consultancy Ltd provide a link to the UK branch of the Association of Fire Investigators “Product Recalls” web page.  If you would like to know if your products have been recently recalled by manufacturers then click here and follow the link.

Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

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