A mother and her four young children fled their home after their Indesit tumble dryer burst into flames while they were sleeping.
Claire Knowles was drying clothes overnight when she woke to find her house filled with smoke.
The 32-year-old bundled her children aged one, three, five and 12 out of the property in Highley, Shropshire, as the blaze ripped through the kitchen, causing some £20,000 worth of damage.
The devastated mother-of-four says her life has been ‘turned upside down’ and she has been ‘crippled financially’ because she did not have contents insurance.
Claire Knowles, 32, with two of her children Missy, 12, and Minnie Buckley, one. They fled they home after their tumble dryer burst into flames
Ms Knowles was drying clothes overnight when she woke to find her house filled with smoke
The devastated mother-of-four says her life has been ‘turned upside down’ and she has been ‘crippled financially’ because she did not have contents insurance. Pictured, the fire damage
Ms Knowles has lodged an official complaint with Whirlpool, which owns Indesit. A spokesman for the company said an investigation is underway.
Ms Knowles said: ‘Hindsight is a great thing. Obviously I wish I had contents insurance. It has turned our lives completely upside down and we are still rebuilding now. It has left me crippled financially.
‘My biggest regret in life is putting the tumble dryer on that night. If I didn’t our lives wouldn’t have been ruined.’
The fire broke out at 2.45am on February 27 while Claire slept on the downstairs sofa with her son, Cobee Buckley, five, and daughter Minnie Buckley, aged one.
They were on the sofa because the family were decorating their rooms, while her sons aged 12 and three were sleeping in bedrooms upstairs.
Ms Knowles, a full time mother, added: ‘I saw smoke coming from under the kitchen door and I was hit by the warmth of the fire.
‘I was terrified. I knew I had to get out of the house. Riley was in the room directly above the kitchen and my first instinct was to get him out.
‘It’s every mum’s worst nightmare. In a split second a million things went through my mind. My eldest daughter grabbed the baby and I ran up to the kids upstairs. We all ran outside and I knocked on a neighbour’s door for help.’
The fire broke out at 2.45am on February 27 while Claire slept on the downstairs sofa with her son, Cobee Buckley, five, and daughter Minnie Buckley, aged one
The fire service said the tumble dryer is believed to have caused the blaze and Ms Knowles has lodged an official complaint with Whirlpool, which owns Indesit.
Many of the household appliances were completely destroyed in the blaze
The blaze ripped through the kitchen and smoke filled the rest of the property
Ms Knowles, left, and her children Cobee Buckley, five, and Riley Buckley, three
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service extinguished the blaze in minutes, but there was extensive smoke damage to the rest of the home and the family lost at least £20,000 worth of belongings.
Housing provider Clarion found them a new home in July.
A Whirlpool spokesperson said: ‘In 2015, we identified a potential concern with two types of tumble dryers. The affected dryers were manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015 under the Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline brands.
‘Nothing matters more to us than people’s safety. That’s why we proactively raised this issue and launched an extensive campaign to fix it – which has delivered unprecedented results.
‘We can confirm that no appliances manufactured after September 2015 are affected by this issue. Dryers sold in December 2016 would not be affected.
‘We extend our deepest sympathies to Miss Knowles and are doing all we can to understand how this incident took place.
‘Investigations are ongoing and the cause has not yet been identified, therefore it would be inappropriate to draw any conclusions at this stage.’