'˜Homeless' man protests after washing machine catches fire
A man claiming to be homeless after his washing machine 'blew up' is protesting outside Home Retail Group's headquarters in MK.
Dean Bland, 30, is demanding to be given a place to stay tonight after his four-year-old Bush WM1270TVE washing machine set his kitchen alight this morning.
The fire has prompted a warning from firefighters who this afternoon urged people to check their electrical products have not been recalled.
Mr Bland says he had “no idea” it was on the product recall list.
The dad-of-one now faces a night on the streets because firefighters have warned he should not return to the smoke-ridden flat.
Mr Bland said: “Things could have been a lot worse if I hadn’t risked my life to pull the washing machine into the middle of the kitchen.
“But I am now homeless for the night and I want Home Retail Group to do something about it.
“I want massive compensation for what has happened because I have a bad headache now and a really sore throat from the smoke,”
Mr Bland says the fire broke out less than three minutes after he put on his washing inside his ground-floor flat in Columbia Place, Campbell Park.
It has emerged was the subject of a safety notice issued by Argos in May 2014, which stated that a component in the control panel could in certain circumstances overheat and present a risk of fire.
Station Commander Jeremy Williams said: “The washing machine started making strange noises, so the quick-thinking occupant turned it off at a remote switch.
“It started smoking, so she closed the doors, evacuated the flat and rang 999.”
A spokesman for Argos said issued a statement. It said: “We sincerely apologise to Mr Bland and his partner for the problems they have experienced with their Bush washing machine.
“Argos strives to offer quality products so we were very concerned to learn of the fault with the item.
“We are taking this situation very seriously and have spoken to Mr Bland and advised that an engineer will visit as soon as possible to investigate the cause of the fire as a matter of urgency.
“Subject to the investigation we will know what further action we can take.
“We have advised Mr Bland to speak to his housing association to find alternative accommodation in the short term.”