30.6.2016 Fire fighters issue warning after towels self heat inside tumble dryer


Two fire engines and 10 fire fighters and officers were called to a fire at a beauty salon in Chingford after a pile of towels caught fire inside a tumble dryer.

Staff at a private gym in Larkswood Leisure Park, which houses the salon, arrived at work on 30th June and discovered an alarm sounding and smelled smoke.

The building was evacuated and the Brigade was called.

Fire fighters forced entry into the salon and found it smoke logged with a smouldering fire in the drum of a tumble dryer.

Crews quickly extinguished the blaze, but the salon and parts of the neighbouring gym suffered smoke damage.

It is believed towels, which had been used in the salon, had become contaminated with oils and began self heating when placed in the tumble dryer.

A fire investigation found the towels had been left in the dryer overnight and had been through one full drying cycle and half of a second one.

The Brigade’s fire investigation team stated that sometimes when materials are washed, put in tumble dryers and then either left inside or taken out afterwards, or are then folded and stacked, can enable the residual oils in the towels to self heat.  This can result in the temperature building up to a point where the material smoulders and eventually ignites.


Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

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Registered Office:  Southwold House, 66 Botley Road, Park Gate, Southampton, United Kingdom

Company number: 07810000