Jesse Bonell's Samsung washing machine on fire.
Jesse Bonell's Samsung washing machine on fire.

Man saves home, carries burning washing machine outside

QUICK thinking and brave actions saved Jesse Bonell's home from catching fire.

Mr Bonell was downstairs in his Toowoomba home on Friday afternoon when his Samsung washing machine caught fire.

A load of clothes was being washed when the smoke alarm sounded.

Although Mr Bonell was only a few metres from the fire he hadn't noticed it until he saw billowing black smoke and an orange glow coming from the laundry.

Mr Bonell did something not many people would do, but his quick thinking and brave actions saved his entire house from going up in flames.

He unplugged the washing machine, unplugged the taps and carried his washing machine outside - all while it was on fire.

QUICK THINKING: Jesse Bonell saved his house by carrying his burning washing machine outside.
QUICK THINKING: Jesse Bonell saved his house by carrying his burning washing machine outside. Bev Lacey

"I was cleaning my fish tanks, on the phone and laminating some documents when the alarm went off," he said.

"I dropped everything and ran to the laundry and ripped the washing machine from the wall.

"At first the fire was the size of a bag of coffee beans but within one minute it was massive. It escalated so quickly."

Mr Bonell escaped with only a small burn on his thumb and singed hair.

His laundry is badly smoked damaged and the downstairs area of his home has a thin layer of soot covering everything.

It could have been far worse if Mr Bonell didn't act so quickly. He only noticed afterwards that a bottle of acetone was sitting on a shelf in his laundry. If the fire reached the acetone it could have caused a small explosion.

He said he didn't even have time to think, he was acting on adrenaline.

"I was just in the right place at the right time to save my house," he said.

"It was a split second decision and I had to do what I could to save my house."

Samsung has a warning on its website, urgently recalling six different models of washing machines.

A Samsung Electronics Australia spokesman said the incident was being investigated.

"Samsung Electronics Australia is investigating a reported incident involving a Samsung top loader washing machine, believed to be a recall model, which occurred at a residence in Toowoomba on June 2," he said.

"Samsung Australia regrets this incident has occurred and we are offering our support to the customer.

"Samsung Australia takes the safety of its customers extremely seriously. We urge customers to check if their top loader washing machine is affected by the top loader recall that was initiated in April 2013 and while we have resolved 85% of impacted models we are committed to finding every possible unit."

Jesse Bonell saved his house by moving a burning washing machine. Smoke damage in laundry. June 2017
Jesse Bonell saved his house by moving a burning washing machine. Smoke damage in laundry. June 2017 Bev Lacey

Mr Bonell's machine was a 7.5kg top loader from a rental store and he urged anyone with a Samsung washing machine, either one they have rented or purchased, to check whether it is one of the recall models.

This isn't the first time a Samsung washing machine has caught fire in Toowoomba.

In December a young couple woke to their house on fire after theirs exploded in the middle of the night. Chris Ramsay and Trent Campbell weren't as lucky as Mr Bonell and their Murphys Creek home was completely destroyed.

No one was injured in the incident.

If you have concerns about your washing machine visit samsung.com/au/washingmachinerecall/.

RECALLED MODELS

• SW75V9WIP/XSA
• SW65V9WIP/XSA
• SW70SPWIP/XSA
• SW80SPWIP/XSA
• WA85GWGIP/XSA
• WA85GWWIP/XSA


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