'Fire fault' in at least 35,000 washer-driers

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The Independent Online
A coroner is asking the Government to take action after hearing that at least 35,000 washer- drier machines with a potentially fatal fault are still in use.

The machines can develop a combination of faults causing them to burst into flames, an inquest was told yesterday.

Widow Eleanor Bellamy, 82, of Exton, near Sheffield, died from the effects of smoke when her washer-drier - an Italian-made Candy Turbomatic model 38d - caught fire as she lay in bed.

Stanley Hooper, the Rotherham coroner, was told by Anthony Smith, of the Consumers' Association, that the machines had a history of faults, with a fan and a thermostat failing together, causing them to overheat.