An attending fire officer has advised an equipment inspection by an electrician in Chester after a fire broke out in an unattended commercial property.
Fire services were alerted to the incident that took place in a Chester launderette when the young man who lived above the business smelled smoke and contacted them at around 4.12pm. The Launderette at 56 Garden Lane was closed and locked when the blaze occurred, while the staff in were temporarily off site taking a break.
Crews from both Powey Lane and Chester fire stations arrived at the launderette and were required to break in the door to gain access. While the fire was small and did little damage, it created a lot of smoke and firefighters wore breathing apparatus as they entered the building. Using a covering jet and hose reel, the flames were extinguished, and a fan was then used to dispel the smoke.
Investigation by the fire services found that the blaze began within an industrial tumble dryer that was switched off. The drying unit contained towels and the reason for the fire was officially determined to be spontaneous combustion.
Fire Officer Simon Gildea in charge of the operation stated that although the phenomenon responsible for the blaze was “strange” it was also often the cause of fires that involve hay, with enough heat generated by the decomposition process to spark and start a fire.
He has recommended that the owners arrange for an electrical engineer to assess the tumble dryer to discover if it is serviceable or should be condemned.