A dog is believed to have started a fire after turning on a hairdryer and had to be treated for smoke inhalation in a bizarre incident.
Essex Fire Service crews were dispatched to Hawkwell Road in Hockley at around 6.45pm on Christmas Eve. It came after reports that the house was filled with smoke.
The poor creature is believed to have sparked the blaze after jumping on a bed and turning the hairdryer on.
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Firefighters reported a smouldering blaze in a bedroom and quickly worked to extinguish it.
The fire service has now urged people to unplug electrical appliances when they are not being used.
The dog was waiting by the front door when the homeowner returned. Both needed treatment for smoke inhalation.
Watch Manager Gary Shinn said: “The homeowner was out and came back to find her house full of smoke.
“We believe the fire started because a hairdryer was left plugged in and on a bed. We think the dog may have then jumped on the bed and turned the hairdryer on, eventually causing it to catch alight to the bedding and mattress."
Shinn added: “Once you’ve finished with any electrical appliances such as hairdryers and straighteners please take a moment to unplug them. The homeowner wouldn’t have thought for one moment her dog would turn on the hairdryer, but unplugging something just gives you that peace of mind.”
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