Advice issued after blanket fire

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A PENSIONER had to flee his home after his electric blanket caught fire and his bed burst into flames.

The 86-year-old had to be taken to hospital where he was treated for smoke inhalation and has since been discharged.

The man contacted the fire service after trying to tackle the blaze himself but had to leave after his attempts to throw the mattress onto the floor and smother the flames failed.

Ten firefighters from Eastbourne were called to the incident just after 11pm on Friday night (December 10).

The burning mattress had to be carried out by firefighters, who tackled the flames at the cottage in Michel Dene Road, East Dean.

Fire Investigation Officer Paul Sundaram-Hardwicke is now urging others to buy an electric blanket as a Christmas present for a friend, or relative, who they are worried may be using an unsafe, old one.

Paul said, “If you know someone who uses an electric blanket then get them a new one for Christmas.

“If you only use one for a short spell once a year it stays folded up and the wires can deteriorate.”

The cause of this fire was faulty wiring and Paul said the gentleman was lucky to escape the property without serious burns.

He added, “Electric blanket users should be mindful of its age and only use in accordance with manufacturers instructions.

“Don’t wait for a fire to happen before you replace yours. Also, keep an eye out in the local press for electric blanket testing happening in the local area.”