A TUMBLE dryer caught fire which destroyed a garage in Southend.

Firefighters were called to a fire in a garage which had started in a tumble dryer in Eastcote Grove at approximately 2.10pm.

When fire crews arrived they reported the garage was full of smoke.

Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire by 2.25pm. The garage has suffered significant fire damage.

Watch Manager Dan Wastell, of Southend Fire Station, said: "Incidents like these show how important it is to take extra care when using a tumble dryer. Follow our safety advice when using a tumble dryer at home to keep you and your family safe; always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, don’t use tumble dryers at night or while unattended, clean the filters after each use to ensure they do not become blocked with fluff, items should be removed from the dryer immediately after the cycle and shaken loose to assist cooling and ensure that the appliance has its own plug socket.

"Do not overload extension leads and make sure that no more than 13 amps are in any one plug socket.

"We also want to remind people of the importance of smoke alarms. Smoke alarms give you early warning of a fire giving you and family time to get out of the house safely."

Essex Fire Service provide free smoke alarms to anyone living in Essex.

To arrange a home fire safety visit call 0300 303 0088 or book online: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/book.