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House fire 'caused by tv left on standby'
9:30am Friday 26th October 2012 in News
A FAMILY was forced to flee its burning house after a blaze believed to have been caused by a television left on standby.
The blaze, which started in a bedroom, could have destroyed the whole house if it had been discovered just a few minutes later, according to firefighters.
Alan Cross and his daughter Shannon discovered the fire when they walked through the door of their home in Northcourt Walk, Abingdon.
Mr Cross, 60, said: “There was smoke everywhere.
“I ran upstairs, it was thick up there, I opened Shannon’s bedroom door and the room was on fire.
“The firefighters said the cause looked as if it was the TV because it was on standby and just overheated.”
Mr Cross said the television was relatively new.
Firefighters tackled the blaze, which started at about 8.30pm on Wednesday, but not before it had burnt through the ceiling and ripped plaster off the walls.
Both father and daughter were taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford where they were treated for smoke inhalation.
The fire destroyed Miss Cross’s bed and a chest of drawers and ruined most of her clothes.
The 26-year-old said: “I am so shocked and devastated. I have been left with nothing.
“I am just glad we weren’t in there. The Red Cross came and visited us in hospital were really good to us.”
The firemen had extinguished the blaze by 10pm.
Incident commander Lee Swain said: “Our best guess is that the fire started in the same area as the television.
“Televisions on standby mode are still quite warm. We would advise people as part of their routine to make sure the television is switched off.
“Electrical fires are certainly common, and they can start in televisions if they overheat.”
Mr and Miss Cross have found temporary accommodation and hope to be back home in about a month.