Pensioner’s lucky escape after electric blanket explodes

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AN elderly Wigan resident had a lucky escape when her electric blanket exploded minutes after she had left her bedroom.

The woman, who was alone in her Winstanley property at the time, was downstairs in the kitchen when the appliance set alight.

She thought the loud bang had come from outside so she went out the backdoor to see smoke billowing out from the bedroom window

Wigan watch manager Jim Clitheroe

Wigan watch manager Jim Clitheroe said the incident “could have been a lot worse” and has issued a stern warning about fire safety for the upcoming winter months.

Firefighters were called to Melrose Drive at 9.30pm on Thursday and used a PPV fan and hose reels to douse the flames. The bedroom sustained significant smoke damage.

Watch manager Clitheroe told the Evening Post: “The resident had taken the electric blanket out for the first time this year because of the drop in temperature.

“She had switched it on and then gone downstairs before going back up to bed.

“She thought the loud bang had come from outside so she went out the backdoor to see smoke billowing out from the bedroom window.”

Recent Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service figures show that more 100 blazes are caused by electric blankets each year and service chiefs have urged residents to have the appliances checked regularly.

Watch manager Clitheroe added: “There is a really important safety message to get across here. If you are using an electric blanket or heater you need to have them checked over by an electrician.

“The weather is changing now and it’s the time of year when these things are being brought out of the cupboards so there’s an extra need to be careful. This resident was lucky she was not in the room at the time, it certainly could have been a lot worse.”