Bromley laundrette fire caused by tightly packed clothes

PUBLISHED: 16:15 29 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:19 29 July 2014

The laundrette after the fire. Picture: London Fire Brigade

The laundrette after the fire. Picture: London Fire Brigade


A fire that tore through a laundrette in Bromley is believed to have been caused by tightly packed laundered clothes.

Fire investigators think the fire in the shop in Bromley Road was the result of self heating within clothing that has been laundered, dried and folded into a pile before the shop was closed yesterday evening.

Eight people left a first floor flat and flats in adjacent properties before the arrival of the Brigade, but fortunately no injuries were reported.

Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers from Bromley, Beckenham and Orpington attended the incident after being called at 4.27am.

The fire was under control just under an hour later.

Gary Pratt from the Brigade’s fire investigation unit said: “Sometimes when materials are cleaned, put in tumble dryers and then folded and stacked, the heat from the tumble drying cannot escape. This can result in a high enough temperature allowing it to build up to a point where it smoulders and eventually ignites.

“If you are washing and then drying on a hot cycle, always use the the cooling cycle on the tumble dryer so it cools down and allow the heat to dissipate properly, before stacking laundered items together.”

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