BREAKING NEWS: Tea towels left in a bundle after coming out of a tumble drier were the cause of a fire at the Rising Sun pub in Milland this morning (Friday, September 19).
Firefighters from Midhurst and Liphook were called to the pub after a member of the public raised the alarm shortly after 5am.
They found the whole of the ground floor of the pub filled with smoke.
Four firefighters using breathing apparatus went into the pub and led six people trapped upstairs, to safety.
While the firefighters were on their way to the fire two Sussex central control operators remained on the phone to the people trapped in the pub.
One spoke to them giving vital fire survival guidance.
The other Mark Purves, himself a Midhurst firefighter, stayed in contact with firefighters giving them information on exactly where the trapped occupants were in the building.
Crew Commander Matt Gamblen from Midhurst who was in charge at the scene said: The fire survival guidance helped to save these peoples’ lives and the information we received from Mark gave us details so that we could act quickly as soon as we arrived. This incident has highlighted how important it is for people trapped in fires to follow the advice given by the operators.”
Both Midhurst fire engines attended the fire along with a crew from Liphook. The fire was extinguished using breathing apparatus and hose reels
Firefighters discovered the fire had started in tea towels left in a bundle after coming out of the tumble drier.
They were still hot and had began to self combust.
Mr Gamblen warned: “It is very important that laundry is not confined after coming straight out of a tumble dryer as there is always the possibility this type of incident may occur.”
He also urged people not to leave tumble dryers, dishwashers or washing machines running overnight.
“We would also like to remind people about the danger of leaving appliances like tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers running overnight or while out. They can be a fire risk because of their high wattage, friction and motors.”