Towards the end of the working day, staff at this commercial laundry had washed and dried clothes and cloths from one of their clients at a pub with a restaurant attached.
Having removed the clean laundry from the tumble dryer, they loaded it into a bin liner and placed it in a plastic laundry basket before leaving for the day.
Shortly after, the occupant of an upstairs flat discovered the fire, alerted the fire service and was fortunately able to escape safely.
Fire investigators ruled out a number of ignition sources, including gas, electricity, friction, smoking and sunlight. On questioning the laundry staff, it became clear that the clean laundry in the bin liner had not been allowed to cool and was the most likely cause.
Cotton laundry such as chefs' whites, aprons, tea towels and cloths are often contaminated with organic cooking oils that can auto-ignite if dried and stored without allowing sufficient time to cool in the tumble dryer.
Finally, we would be interested to hear from you if you have had a similar experience to the fire detailed above, or would like to raise any related matters or even just generally comment on how useful you found our Black Museum.
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Latest Update : 30 January 2015