Faulty electric blanket starts fire

Sahrib Hameed surveys the aftermath of the blaze at the family house

Sahrib Hameed surveys the aftermath of the blaze at the family house

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Aire/Worth Valley Reporter

A Shipley family who escaped tragedy when a faulty electric blanket sparked a blaze praised fire services for saving their home.

Fire broke out yesterday at the detached house in Aireville Rise where the blanket had been used to warm a bed for one of the Hameed family who had a bad back.

“It had not been used for a long time and had been kept rolled up in a cupboard,” said son Sahrib Hameed.

“It was a terrible experience – but the important thing is our family is all safe,” he said, standing beside the charred remains of a wooden bed.

“It was nobody’s fault, the sort of thing that could happen to anyone,” Mr Hammed said.

“But if you are using an electric blanket this winter, please, please check it’s totally safe.”

He said the fire crew from Shipley had arrived in the nick of time.

“The fire brigade came very fast and handled the situation very swiftly and calmly – we are so grateful to them,” Mr Hameed said as he and his family continued to clear up burnt debris from the damaged bedroom.

Firefighters were called to their house at 6.20am.

An engine from Shipley and one from Bradford attended, and two firefighters in breathing gear entered the room to put out the fire.

Jim Butters, Bradford District Commander, said with colder nights approaching it was especially important people checked items like electric blankets, which might not have been used in months.

“People need to make sure they are in good working order,” he said. “Sometimes they will get rolled up and put away and wiring can get damaged, and then months later people will bring it out and expect it to work.

“It is worth taking five minutes to just look it over and see if it’s OK, and always remember to switch it off when you are done with it. Fires like this can be a lot worse.”

He also said the fire showed how important it was to test smoke alarms.

“All you have to do is press a button, listen for a beep and you know you’re protected,” he said.

“If the battery runs out and it starts beeping, replace it.

“Often people take the battery out and don’t replace it, or, over Christmas especially, might take it out to use in a kid’s toy.

“I would urge people to think twice about doing something like that,” Mr Butters warned.

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