Pet rabbit starts fire by chewing through tumble dryer flex

A pet rabbit.
A pet rabbit.

A pet rabbit started a fire by chewing through a tumble dryer flex.

The incident, and a second just 24 hours later when a dog accidentally triggered a cooker blaze, has prompted 999 bosses to warn animal owners to keep their pets away from potentially

Cleveland Fire Brigade's Phil Lancaster has issued a warning.

Cleveland Fire Brigade's Phil Lancaster has issued a warning.

dangerous appliances.

Last Wednesday evening the pet rabbit chewed through the flex of a tumble dyer in Stockton.

This started a small fire which caused heat damage to the rear of the machine.

The fate of the rabbit is unknown.

In the early hours of Thursday morning a dog in Middlesbrough knocked a cooker ring which ignited a bag of rubbish that had been left on top of the hob.

Thankfully, the owners were alerted to the fires by their smoke alarms and were able to leave their homes uninjured. Firefighters also rescued the dog which was given oxygen.

Cleveland Fire Brigade say there have been five other similar incidents in the area since April 2016.

They include a dog which knocked over a lit candle which set fire to a mat and a dog which knocked over an ashtray containing incorrectly discarded cigarettes.

Phil Lancaster, director of community protection for Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Calls to house fires which have been started by pets are not unusual and we would urge all pet owners to

be vigilant about where their animals are in the home.

“Taking simple precautions such as not letting animals near electrical appliances or candles and ensuring nothing flammable such as rubbish, paper, tea towels or clothing is left on or near

the cooker can help prevent what could be a devastating or even tragic fire.

“These householders have been very lucky and it’s thanks to their working smoke alarms that they were alerted to the fires in time.

“We urge all residents to make sure they have smoke alarms fitted in their homes and test them weekly to check they are working correctly.”