Extension reel warnings after Halwill Junction house fire

House fire The homeowners escaped after smelling smoke

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Homeowners are being warned about using appliances with extension reels following a fire which destroyed a house in Devon.

Two people were taken to hospital after escaping from the burning house in Halwill Junction on Sunday night.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was believed to have started when a wound-up extension reel ignited.

A tumble drier, plugged in to the reel, was in use at the time.

Fire investigation manager, Andy Justice, said: "It is known that extension reels when tightly wound and supplying heavy current-drawing electrical appliances such as a tumble drier, can generate sufficient heat, which can result in ignition of the extension reel."

The fire service said the householder, a man in his 20s, was alerted to the fire when his computer switched off and he smelt smoke.

He and his mother managed to escape from the house and were treated for smoke inhalation.

Neighbouring properties were also evacuated while a number of fire crews dealt with the blaze.

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