Family tell of lucky escape after tumble dryer blaze rips through their home

Claire Sharpe pictured outside her Fire damaged house with children Oliver, seven and Iris, one
Claire Sharpe pictured outside her Fire damaged house with children Oliver, seven and Iris, one

A family have told of their lucky escape after a tumble dryer fire caused serious damage to their home and destroyed their children’s toys.

Dad-of-two Steven Sharpe, 31, was upstairs asleep when he was awoken by firefighters who managed to drag him out of the property on Chesterfield Road in Barlborough.

Luckily, his wife Claire, 27, was at work and their two young children, Oliver, seven, and one-year-old Iris, were also not inside the home.

Claire, who works at Barlborough Primary School, said: “The head teacher took me to one side and said ‘I don’t want you to panic but you need to go home straight away’.

“I was trying to stay positive but once I got there the road was closed off and there was quite a few fire engines. I was panicking.”

The tumble dryer was in a porch at the rear of the house when the blaze happened on Thursday, March 23 at about 12.10pm.

The fire caused extensive damage to Oliver’s bedroom while the rest of the home was badly smoke damaged.

“My husband Steven was upstairs asleep because he works night,” Claire said.

“The fire service broke through the door and they got him out.

“We also have two dogs - a Labrador and a springer - and they were in the dining room but they got out.

“The house is totally destroyed. It took the porch roof off.”

The fire service believe the blaze was caused by an electrical fault in the tumble dryer.

“I had washed and dried my clothes that morning and turned it off at the switch like I do every day and went to work,” Claire told the Derbyshire Times.

“Oliver has taken it quite badly. All of his toys have gone.”

Since the fire, businesses including Avant Homes, Clowne Landscape, A C Aerials - Chris Field, Robson Electrical Services and charity the Child Foundation have all offered support.

Parish councillor for Clowne, Ross Walker, who helped to get the businesses involved, said: “It is amazing. Just one phone call and everybody got involved. It just shows community spirit is still strong.”