Staffordshire family left without home in run up to Christmas after tumble dryer fire


A Staffordshire family were left without a home in the run up to Christmas after a tumble dryer fire tore through their house.

Mum-of-two Dawn Zambrano and her family were in the home near Ashbourne on the county border just before Christmas 2019.

When Dawn’s 16-year-old daughter Isabella ran down saying she had seen a spark outside her bedroom window.

Dawn and husband Martin had noticed the power go out moments earlier but initially thought nothing of it.

However, when they checked the utility room they noticed their 11-month-old tumble dryer was well alight.

Dawn said: “It was a cold December night, we’d just had dinner and were settling in for the evening when our daughter came running down the stairs.

“She’d seen a spark outside her bedroom door. 

“The power in the house had momentarily gone off just before, but we didn’t clock then that anything was wrong, until we looked in the utility room, which is directly below our daughter’s bedroom.

“It was then that we saw our dryer was completely alight.”

Martin stayed inside the house trying to extinguish the blaze while Dawn and Isabella, as well as son Luis, aged 17, his daughter, their two cats and two dogs escaped the property.

Dawn added: “It felt like forever till the appliance arrived, but thankfully, it wasn’t long at all.

“However, my husband Martin was still inside, trying to put the fire out himself.

“He suffered really nasty burns on his hands. 

“He still has the scars.

“I’m just so thankful my daughter spotted that spark when she did, because that moment saved us from an even worse fire than the one we experienced.

“We had a really lucky escape.”

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The family were shocked as the appliance was under a year old and was regularly maintained during its time with the family.

The fire not only destroyed the utility room, but meant that the boiler in the family home could no longer work, meaning the family were without a home just before Christmas 2019. 

Thankfully, they were able to stay with Dawn’s parents for a number of nights before arranging alternative rental accommodation.

Dawn has spoken out as Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service continues its Watts The Danger campaign, highlighting fire risks in the home.

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Station manager Gary Fox said: “It is so important that you don’t overload or over-use appliances, how ever old they are.

“They also must never be left to work while you’re out or left on overnight in order to make sure you’re protecting yourselves and your loved ones from a potentially serious fire.”





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