A TUMBLE dryer has been confirmed as the most likely cause off a huge blaze that devastated a 300-year-old hotel..
Last week, the Gordon House Hotel in Kirkcudbright was engulfed in flames which destroyed the kitchen area of the Georgian building.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), following a detailed investigation, today (fri) confirmed the domestic tumble dryer was thought to be responsible.
Now they are warning consumers to check that their own appliances are adequately maintained.
Recent figures revealed there had been more than 300 fires in kitchens in Scottish homes caused by dryers and safety warnings have been issued in relation to several well-known brands.
A total of five fire engines and 25 firefighters were called to the blaze just after 8pm last Thursday.
By the time they reached the scene the fire had taken hold of the kitchen area before spreading to the roof of a single-story extension.
They battled the blaze using six water jets, and finally extinguished the flames by midnight. They spent a further four hours dampening down smouldering remains and ensuring the area was safe.
At the time it was understood that a tumble drier had been the cause of the incident, but because of the extent of the damage it could not be confirmed.
SFRS group manager Joseph Hamill said: “The investigation established that the most likely cause of the fire was a domestic tumble dryer.
“There was significant fire damage to the rear of the property. The fire safety department is working with the owner to ensure the premises are made safe.”
He added: “Owners of domestic tumble dryers should ensure that they are adequately maintained and frequently cleaned in order to minimise any potential fire risk.”
There were no casualties from the blaze, but at the time locals spoke of their relief the fire had not spread further.
Geraldine Joshi, manager of the Baytree House B&B next door, said she believed the hotel had recently been taken over by new management.
“I haven’t even really had a chance to get to know the new managers of the hotel yet,” she said. “They’ve only been there a couple of months so it’s a real shame.”
Mrs Joshi’s own guesthouse was filled with smoke and fellow hotel owners nearby had to find new beds for their guests at short notice.
She added: “Initially the firemen wouldn’t let us into our house for safety reasons but luckily we managed to get in just in time and save our dogs.
“Our house was completely filled with smoke so we found our residents accommodation nearby. We were allowed back in at around 1am but things next door were still smouldering until 3 or 4 in the morning.”
Earlier this year, a family in Ayr saw their home go up in smoke after a tumble dryer burst into flames.
The Hotpoint machine caught fire out of the blue – giving Michael Christie just seconds to flee the house with his one-year-old son.
In November safety warnings were issued over Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda tumble dryers after 306 blazes in Scottish kitchens.
Expert advice is to clean the filter after every cycle, ensure proper dryer venting and not leave the house or sleep when the machine is in use.