Overheated tea towels sparked a fire in a house in Hartlepool early today.
A crew from Stranton fire station was called to the house in Christopher Street around 5am.
“The householder had dried a load of tea towels in the tumble drier and then put them straight into a large plastic bag,” said watch manager Ronnie Olds.
“Over the course of the night, the stored heat has caused them to overheat and catch fire.
“There were smoke alarms fitted in the property which alerted the occupants to the incident so they evacuated and called the fire brigade.
“The message is, tumble driers should only be used during the day and when unsupervised and when drying heavy items, such as towels, they should be allowed to cool properly.”