Devastating house fire prompts warnings over recalled dishwashers

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. - Credit: Archant

A serious house blaze which left two people in hospital and their four dogs dead from smoke inhalation was caused by a faulty dishwasher, according to fire investigators.

A man and woman were rescued from an upstairs window from the house on Kestrel Close in Mulbarton at about 2.40am yesterday morning.

The pair were taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, but their four dogs died on the scene despite the efforts of emergency teams to resuscitate them.

Investigators believe the cause of the blaze was an electrical fault on a dishwasher manufactured by Bosch – a model which was the subject of a safety notice originally issued in 2011 because of a potential fire risk.

The company issued an urgent product recall on a limited number of Bosch, Neff and Siemens branded machines which it says 'may overheat and in very rare cases cause a potential fire hazard.'


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Richard Herrell, group manager for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said the Mulbarton blaze served as a warning for anybody with concerns about their kitchen appliances to check whether they could be affected.

'We have conducted the fire investigation and we believe the cause of the fire to be a Bosch dishwasher,' he said. 'The advice we would give is that if anybody has any concerns about whether their product is subject to a recall they should go to the Electrical Safety Council website. It gives people guidance on which units and which serial numbers are affected.

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'Bosch has been working very proactively in reassuring their customers and it is very rare that these machines can cause a fire, but it has happened here so we want to raise the awareness of it being a problem.'

Mr Herrell said the fire also reiterated the vital life-saving importance of fitting and checking smoke alarms.

'These people were alerted by the operation of a domestic smoke detector which certainly saved their lives. It was a serious fire and the building was very densely populated with smoke, so it presented a serious risk to life.

'We see it time and time again. It does not get any more traumatic than what these people experienced, but they are so grateful they had the alarms fitted, and so are we.'

Earlier this week, following a similar dishwasher fire which killed two family dogs in Wales, a Bosch spokesman said the company had made every attempt to contact owners of the affected model to rectify the problem, and had so far managed to locate 163,000 of them.

The manufacturer is also voluntarily undertaking a free in-home repair programme of affected dishwashers, which were manufactured between 1999 and early 2005.

To check whether your appliance is subject to the recall, visit www.esc.org.uk/recall. If your dishwasher is affected, call the Bosch helpline on 0800 023 4881 to arrange a free repair.

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