Warning after electric blanket causes house fire

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AN electric blanket was to blame for a house fire that has left an elderly couple unable to move back into their home for months.

There was four metres of extensive fire damage in the bedroom where the blaze broke out and smoke damage to the rest of the room.

The upstairs of the semi-detached house was also smoke damaged and smoke logged and the couple in their 80s both had to have medical treatment following the incident at about 10pm on Saturday 17 September.

A woman needed oxygen at the scene and her husband was taken to Scarborough Hospital with the effects of smoke inhalation and burns to his hand after he went back inside the house to try and tackle the fire himself.

There were no smoke alarms at the house and following the incident the fire service has issued a safety warning to people about using electric blankets particularly as we head into autumn and winter.

A fire spokesperson said crews had revisited the property last week and while the gentleman was recovering they were having to stay with relatives and had been told they would probably not be able to move back into their home for about three months due to the damage the fire had caused.

Community Safety Crew Manager Rose Fearnley from NYFRS “In this instance the occupants of the house were lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries. We believe there were no working smoke alarms in the property which means had they not been awake and gone upstairs quite soon after the fire started, the consequences could have been much worse.

“We also understand that when the gentleman discovered the fire he attempted to put the fire out. We would always advise that if a fire breaks out in your home you should get out, stay out and get the fire service out.”

She added don’t use hot water bottles in the same bed as an electric blanket, unplug blankets before you get into bed, don’t leave electric blankets folded as it damages internal wiring, test blankets every three years, try not to buy second hand, check regularly for wear and tear and replace your blanket when it is over ten years old.