The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Friday, 20 December 2019 01:00cat

House partially collapses after clothes dryer explosion in UK

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House partially collapses after clothes dryer explosion in UK House partially collapses after clothes dryer explosion in UK

An explosion caused by a tumbler dryer failure resulted in a partial collapse of a house in the UK.

The incident occurred in Kessingland, a village in Suffolk County at about 20:35 GMT on December 18, 2019. The explosion led to a complete failure of one side of the house.

Emergency crews including firefighters and an ambulance rushed at the scene. However, before they arrived, a man, that wishes to remain anonymous, heard the explosion and went inside the house to save a person that was in jeopardy. The daughter of the anonymous hero describes the incident: "We came outside and could see there was a fire and the whole side of the house was gone. My dad ran across the road because the man was in the same room as the fire. He tried to pull him out but the man wanted to go through the door, even though the wall was missing. It was all on fire."

The victim was hospitalized at the James Paget Hospital. 

Firefighters collaborated with police and a building control official to repair the damage and make the house safe again.

The causes of the explosion are currently under investigation. David Metherell, the owner of the building, stated that the blast could have been provoked by aerosol cans. "There were domestic aerosol cans stored in the kitchen and there is some suggestion they may have combusted in the fire. My understanding is that the tumble dryer was in use and became ignited and the fire spread quite rapidly and caused the damage," he stated.

Officials said that they could not identify whether the dryer machine was manufactured by Whirlpool, a firm that recently withdrew 519,000 faulty machines in the UK. Whirlpool stated that those machines have a deficiency in their locking system that could lead to overheating and ignition. 

Neil Evans, deputy head of community safety for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, emphasized the importance of acknowledging the danger caused by the usage of such devices. "We want to ensure that people are well informed of the risks posed in their homes and how they can protect themselves and their families. Running a washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher overnight or while you are out is a fire risk because of their high wattage, friction and motors," Evans, stated.



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