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Family's army home 'completely ruined' in Aldershot blaze

Couple and three young children had to be put up in a hotel while alternative accommodation is found for them following the fire

House in Cassino Road, Aldershot, where a fire was caused by a tumble dryer
House in Cassino Road, Aldershot, where a fire was caused by a tumble dryer, with damage at the back of the property

A home in Aldershot has been destroyed by a blaze caused by a tumble dryer in a kitchen.

More than a dozen firefighters from Rushmoor station were called to the address in Cassino Drive at around 4.20pm on Wednesday.

The house was already well alight and full of thick, acrid smoke by the time they arrived, with the blaze having spread to the first floor.

Wyn Edwards, 30, a Welsh Guard, had been living at the address with his wife and three children, aged three-and-a-half, two and nine-months-old, for the past four years.

No-one was inside the property at the time of the fire.

Mr Edwards said: "I had come back from physiotherapy and we took the dog out for a walk at a park at about half-three and we got a phone call saying the house was on fire.

"The whole house is completely ruined, it started with the tumble dryer and that caused the boiler to catch fire as well in the kitchen, and then the airing cupboard is above it upstairs and that went up as well."

Mr Edwards said the family had a gas, smoke alarm and electric test at the property about a month ago and everything was working correctly - however, the smoke alarm failed to go off when the fire happened.

He said: "They think it was caused by an electric fault with the tumble dryer but it was a brand, spanking new tumble dryer so that might be something we need to look into."

'Army have been fantastic'

Mr Edwards and his family were put up in a hotel on Wednesday night night by the army and he said they planned to go back to Wales over the weekend so his children could stay with family.

He said: "The army have been fantastic, they have already earmarked a new property for us to live in.

"Everything in the house is covered in soot, walking in there it looks like a cave.

"We managed to grab a few things like the laptop that had some of the kids' photos on, and I still stink of soot now from going in to get it."

Mr Edwards said two windows at the back of the property had to be smashed to allow the house to be ventilated.

Rushmoor fire station watch manager Paul Pesquero said the house had effectively been "completely destroyed" by the flames and smoke damage.

"It's unlivable now," he said. "The fire quickly spread through the first floor, and we had smoke billowing out the back.

"We were there for about two hours in total. The family were put up in a hotel as they have young children. It was very distressing for all of them."

 
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