AN electrical fault in a washing machine is believed responsible for a fire in a Lithgow home yesterday.
Around 2.30am firefighters were called to a report of a house fire in Cook Street.
They quickly extinguished a fire in the laundry section of the premises and traced the source to a washing machine.
Fire damage was confined to the laundry with some smoke damage elsewhere in the house.
A brigade spokesman said the washing machine was a fairly new unit and the manufacturer’s details would be forwarded to the investigation unit.
He said this was normal procedure in the event of any pattern of fires emerging with similar equipment.
However Cook Street Station Commander Noel Ford said yesterday’s incident was another timely reminder of the need to follow fire safety precautions, beginning with effective smoke alarms.
“In the winter there are always additional risks,” he said.
“Too many people live in the belief that ‘it won’t happen to me’ but it does happen as recent tragic events have indicated.”
Heaters, particularly bar heaters, are considered the greatest risk in winter.
But Mr Ford said householders were more likely to be using clothes dryers and other indoor drying procedures in the winter, often creating further fire potential.
He issued a reminder to householders to regularly clean the lint filters on clothes dryers, a common factor in fires.
Mr Ford urged all householders to log on to the NSW Fire and Rescue website to conduct their own household fire safety audit.
“They might be surprised to discover where they are unwittingly placing their families at risk,” he said.
The latest warning comes only a week after a person, believed to be a woman in her 70s, died in a house fire at Wallerawang during one of the coldest nights of the year.