Glossop mother’s appliance warning after house fire
Thursday 13th July 2017 12:25 Glossop Chronicle News Posted by Adam Higgins

A Glossop mother whose house was destroyed in a fire caused by a tumble dryer is desperately trying to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving electrical appliances on overnight. 

Laura Minshull’s life was turned upside down after her Whitfield home went up in flames on the night of June 26 but, had she not altered her usual routine of turning on the dryer in her kitchen before heading off to bed, she and her five-year-old daughter Jasmine might not have been so fortunate to escape unharmed.

Firefighters spent just over two hours tackling the blaze, which tore through the house on Ashton Street.

Having lost all of her prized possessions, the damage was so severe that Laura has been told she is unable to return to her property and must look for permanent accommodation elsewhere.

Trauma: Some of the damage done to Laura’s kitchen by the fire

The whole experience has left IT consultant Laura, 30, very shaken and completely distraught but she is now anxious to get her message out to prevent it happening again to another family.

She said: “‘It’ll never happen to me’ is exactly what we tell ourselves when we see tragedy, I know I’m guilty of it. I’ve been known to put my tumble dryer on at bedtime ignoring everyone who had ever told me ‘never at bedtime, never when you’re out’ with a roll of my eyes and a ‘don’t be a fusspot’.

“Thankfully, on the day of the fire, I switched my routine and did my drying whilst me and Jasmine watched our bedtime cooking programmes as otherwise I may not be here to give this warning.

“From hearing banging noises in the dryer to it producing so much smoke, you couldn’t see the appliance anymore was all in less than 10 minutes.

“Take a moment to understand the severity of possibilities and listen to the warnings of when you should and shouldn’t use your dryer. They may be frustrating but they are not without good reason.

“Me and my daughter are so lucky. We only had the clothes we walked out of the house wearing but, in the face of recent events, the fact I can look down into her sleeping face means we are the lucky ones.”

Bond: Laura with daughter Jasmine in happier times

With the house just around the corner from Glossop Fire Station on Charlestown Road, firefighters responded rapidly and were at the property within three minutes.

Crews from Hyde and a total of six engines also attended, with one firefighter even breaking multiple bones in his hand to ensure the fire was brought under control and the scene was made safe.

And Laura expressed her unequivocal gratitude for the way they dealt with the situation.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our unbelievably excellent and brave fire service,” she added. “As I moved away from the danger I watched the firemen run towards it without hesitation. That ‘999’ moment I always took for granted that I’d never need but when I did it was with a breathtakingly quick response and bravery that I can’t applaud enough.”

As a way of helping Laura to get back on her feet, her worried sister Rachel set up a Go Fund Me page and the reaction has been beyond their wildest dreams, with lots of positive messages on social media, offers of help and more than £3,300 raised already.

“Laura is still very emotional and she has been overwhelmed with the way everyone has been,” said Rachel, 28, who also lives in Glossop.

“She has lost everything and is now looking for a new property. I thank god that on this one occasion she didn’t do her usual routine of popping her wash load into the dryer before heading up to bed.

“On this occasion she was downstairs and able to be aware of the dryer clearly having a problem. The fire chief said that had they stayed in the house for one more minute they wouldn’t be here. Had we not rung for the help we needed, other homes would have caught on fire too. It completely ripped through the structure of the house.”

Aftermath: Laura and Rachel outside the house on Ashton Street following the fire

Rachel added: “It has really opened her eyes. Jasmine has been having nightmares and asking to go home. This week she has gone back to pre-school for the first time since the fire to try to return to some kind of normality.

“I couldn’t sit and watch my sister try to piece her life back together while struggling so, after so much love and support and suggestions, I created the page in the hope we could gather some funds to help my sister and her little girl.

“Strangers have been sending money to the fund and getting in touch to offer brand new furniture and shops have given brand new clothes. Glossop has been so incredible and the support has been a silver lining. The whole family thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts.”

To leave a donation and read more about Laura’s story, visit https://www.gofundme.com/funds-for-laura-jasmine.