A FAMILY has been left homeless after a tumble dryer caught alight in Clacton.

Firefighters from Clacton and Weeley fire stations were called to a two-storey house in Salvia Close, Clacton, shortly after 11.30pm on Monday.

The fire was discovered by the family’s teenage son who raised the alarm and alerted his mum and sister.

Arriving at the property, they found a tumble dryer alight and the ground floor of the house filling with smoke.

The fire was put out within an hour.

Gazette: Smoke damage - The ground floor was filling with smoke when firefighters arrivedSmoke damage - The ground floor was filling with smoke when firefighters arrived (Image: ECFRS)

The house is uninhabitable because of the fire, leaving the family homeless, and the kind-hearted firefighters have been liaising with the Red Cross to help find the family alternative accommodation.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service watch manager Dave Garratt praised the boy for ensuring the safety of his family.

Mr Garrett said: “I would like to praise the 14-year-old boy who showed real bravery to raise the alarm.

“He was woken by the smoke and ran through the area of the house affected by the fire to wake up his mum and sister.

“However, the incident highlights the importance of having smoke alarms and testing them regularly to make sure they are working.”

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He also issued a warning to residents, adding: “It also shows the dangers of using electrical appliances, such as tumbler dryers, overnight or when unattended - please don't take the risk.”

His fellow watch manager Craig Todd thanked his colleagues for their swift action which prevented the fire from spreading further.

Mr Todd said: “It's clear from the level of smoke damage and fire spread that the rapid and professional response from our crews prevented further damage and stopped it from affecting adjoining properties.”

Firefighters visited the area on Tuesday to talk to residents about home fire safety.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service endeavours to ensure every single home across the county has a working smoke alarm, which is a proven lifesaver, so firefighters will visit any home in Essex and fit smoke alarms completely free of charge.

More information can be obtained by calling 0300 303 0088 or by visiting essex-fire.gov.uk.