By Jeff Reines

People should immediately stop using tumble dryers that are subject to product recall or safety notices, fire chiefs have warned following a huge tower block blaze.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) investigators said the inferno which ripped through the 18-storey high-rise and took 120 firefighters to tackle was believed to be caused by a faulty Indesit tumble dryer which was subject to ‘corrective action’ by the manufacturer and due to be attended by an engineer.

Now it wants parent company Whirlpool to change its current advice to consumers urgently following the fire in Shepherds Bush, west London, while the appliance was in use.


Damage caused by the fire which started in the dryer
The advice states: “You may continue to use your tumble dryer whilst waiting for the modification, however, we require that you do not leave your dryer unattended during operation as an extra precaution (i.e. do not leave the house or leave the dryer on whilst asleep).”

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “If my kitchen had one of the recalled goods in it, I would unplug it straight away until it has been checked and repaired.

“The speed with which the fire took hold shows how dangerous a faulty tumble dryer can be that’s why we are calling for Whirlpool to urgently change their advice to consumers.

“The flat’s occupants had a terrifying ordeal. The kitchen quickly became smoke logged and they quickly left the flat and called the brigade. This decision could have saved lives.

“If your appliance is subject to a safety or recall notice or you think there is something wrong with it our advice is simple. Unplug it immediately and contact the manufacturer or a qualified repair technician.


The flat was gutted by the fireOfficials evacuated 26 homes and had to provide temporary housing for 20 families but no-one was seriously injured.

The brigade believes while there is a fire risk people should not use their appliance until it has been checked and repaired, citing five major concerns about the manufacturers’ current safety advice are:

* the safety notice was issued due to the danger of fire and any fire has the potential to endanger life and property.

* It’s impractical for most people to remain with an appliance for the duration of a drying cycle.

* If the dryer does catch fire while it’s attended this still presents a risk to the occupants.

* If the owner attempts to put out a fire in an appliance they could be putting their life at risk – always raise the alarm, get out, stay out and call 999.

* The time a fire may break out because of a fault is unpredictable. The ignition of fluff accumulated around a heating element may cause a smouldering fire which might not be discovered until the appliance has finished being used and the owner has gone to bed.


The faulty appliance responsible

The brigade wrote to the Whirlpool Corporation in February expressing concern about its advice to customers.

The safety notice issued by Whirlpool identified a potential concern with two types of tumble dryer manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015.

The affected brands are Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda, Proline and Swan.The local council, Hammersmith and Fulham Council, is calling for all faulty tumble dryers to be recalled and replaced immediately and LFB is urging people to check if their appliance is one of several models which were subject to recent manufacturer’s safety notice and halt use immediately.