So, last week this happened to my house....(the edited version)
See the big fat hole in the top of the dryer below? That is the control panel that started the fire....uneblievably my wet washing is still in there, now melted into a huge clump of fabric and plastic!....
(I have loads more photos and videos but don't want to bore you to death they all look the same)
I am not one for putting my private life out for public debate but I am doing this to PLEAD with all of you who have any kind of tumble drier to unplug it when not in use and whatever you do, do NOT have it running when you are out of the house or as I often do, overnight when in bed.
My entire house, small as it may be, has to be gutted and we are starting from scratch with not much more than the clothes we were wearing when we got the phone call that our house was on fire.
MY DRIER WAS NOT ON 'THE FAMOUS RECALL LIST' AND IS (was) A ZANUSSI TCE7227W.
REALLY IMPORTANT PLEASE TAKE NOTE!!!!! THIS IS DIRECT INFORMATION FROM THE FIRE BRIGADE AND AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER:....
IT WAS NOT WORKING AT THE TIME, IT WAS PLUGGED IN THE WALL ON STANDBY, WITH WET WASHING INSIDE IT, WAITING TO BE TURNED ON WHEN I GOT HOME....
IMPORTANT INFO FROM THE FIRE BRIGADE:
When you put wet washing in the drier the moisture can actually get into the circuits and cause a combustive reaction and it sets alight...because of the way the circuits are made, this does not affect the fuse, so it doesnt fuse out and switch off the power supply and just keeps on burning.
This had been smouldering and on fire for several hours before it was noticed so we have extensive damage to the house but luckily still have a roof and 4 walls.
Sadly my 2 cats died in the fire which we've both been devastated about as you can imagine..... RIP Mod and Scooter Ninjas.
We need all new windows and doors because they're all cracked and the Upvc has melted, new ceilings and floors downstairs, we have no staircase as you can see, everything, almost every single thing, gone, in a puff of smoke. The heat has been incredible, it has melted things that werent even in the same room as the actual fire.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank all the amazing people who have already helped me beyond words this past week, my DT girls have all been absolute troopers helping me to keep going when I could barely function and our friends & family for just being there when we truly needed help. Claire, Dee, Louise, Clare and Susan and Jan you have no idea how grateful I am to you for everything this week, you've been total superstars. ....I can't actually thank everyone enough, words fail me every day at the kindness and support we've had, not just from people we know but also complete strangers offering us things and places to stay, it's just incredible how people are so kind, it gives you hope for humanity quite honestly, if only everyone could be the same the world would be so amazing.
We have cleared a lot of downstairs out already, sweeping everything into bin bags takes no time at all, and on Saturday begins the biggest task which is tackling 15 years worth of craft stuff which will all have to be skipped. Yes, everything gone, that's one way to declutter your stash, although a little extreme maybe! I think the only thing that will be ok is all the metal dies, anything plastic absolutely stinks to high heaven and the odour just can't be removed no matter how many times you wash it.
The entire house has to go back to bare plaster because of the smoke damage, the only room saved is actually my bathroom because it's tiled head to toe which is a godsend. It will be several months before we can get back in and in the meantime we have moved in with my wonderful parents and are commuting 45 miles each way every day to the office.
We were actually very lucky to still have 4 walls and a roof still standing, it's only because of a door being closed and the time that the alarm was raised just in the nick of time that the whole house didnt raize to the ground and maybe take our neighbours on each side with us quite honestly.
If we are slow with your orders please bear with us, we still have a lot of things to sort out right now and we are a little slow.
I'm on Create and Craft TV on Friday 16th December at 11am and 3pm with some lovely new products so I hope you can join me - I WILL have my curly hair back because I have no choice my GHDs have melted into an alien like object LOL! ....
(and in a week where I have learned to accept help and not be proud if you really want to help us in any way please buy the new paper kits we're launching Friday, we kinda need the cash right now LOL!)
Next week will see commencement of the big cleanup so PD Towers will be on semi-closure for the first time ever until New Year (we will still be working but not full-time, operation cleanup will be underway)...
All I ask for Christmas this year is that everyone thinks of all the people who are alone, lonely and who have nothing and if you can do something to help just one person, maybe just taking a neighbour a mince pie or a christmas card so they know someone is thinking of them please do.
Losing everything is a very humbling experience and it makes you realise that you are indeed lucky to be alive and part of this planet. Standing in the street with nothing but what I took to work with me looking at my boarded up house in the dark made me realise how incredibly lucky I am and that I do not care about posessions and 'things' they are irrelevant.
Yes, we've both had a bit of a cry, but that doesn't fix things, it won't change the fact we have to start again so to be honest we've just put the rubber gloves on and got stuck into clearing up and moving on. Pronto.
Mr Doodles, one of the kindest people I know, said to me that he feels like he just needs to be 'kinder every day' and I could not have said it better myself.
Lots of people have said how it couldn't have happened at a worse time of year but well, just because it's Christmas makes no difference at all, Xmas trees and Santa aren't on our horizon right now, every single thing pales into insignificance quite honestly.
All you need is the clothes on your back, family & friends and a roof over your head, the rest is just a complete luxury and there are billions of people around the world who don't have a roof over their heads and family & friends so we both count ourselves the luckiest people in the world this week and I for one will try to maintain that thought for the rest of my life.
I might do a diary kind of thing so that I can look back and see what we achieved this time next year, not for anyone else but my own benefit really so the old blog might get a bit boring lol.
Right, over and out, work awaits and I need to go buy scissors and glue to be able to make things on Friday!
P.S - OH! Before I forget - yes we will be pursuing Zanussi over this, of course! Perhaps Watchdog might get in on the act, I will keep you informed on this score!