Fire chiefs have issued a safety warning after an overheating TV caused a house blaze in South Tyneside.
Three fire crews turned out to St Simon Street, South Shields, on Tuesday evening along with an ambulance and police after fears were raised that people were trapped inside as fire swept through the semi-detached home.
“We would urge people to unplug electrical appliances if they are going out”
Firefighters soon found the residents were not at home but did rescue the family dog as the fire raged in the upper floor of the two-storey home.
The fire – which is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault on the TV set – left behind a trail of destruction and a major clean-up operation for the householders yesterday.
A bedroom was badly damaged, with the first floor of the home also being hit by heat and smoke damage.
Officers from Tyne and Wear Fire Service were back at the street yesterday morning to serve up vital safety advice to residents in the wake of the blaze.
Two fire crews from South Shields carried out door-to-door ‘hot strike’ checks to highlight the importance of having a smoke alarm – and ensuring that electrical appliances are switched off when people go out for the evening.
As well as passing on esential tips and a home safety check, fire crews can also install smoke alarms when they are not present in properties.
Richie Richaby, group manager for Tyne and Wear Fire Service, is urging residents to take simple safety measures to preven lives and property being put at at risk.
Mr Richaby said: “We believe it was an electrical fault with the TV, which had been left plugged in and on standby.
“We would urge people to make unsure they unplug electrical appliances if they are going out for the evening.
“A television left on standby still uses 75% of its electrical power and is still an ignition risk.
“Just taking the time to unplug the television removes that risk.
“At first we believed there were people in the house but our crews quickly established this wasn’t the case.
“A dog in the rear of the property was safely led out by firefighters.”
The occupants of the house didn’t wish to comment yesterday.