A man claiming to be homeless after his washing machine “blew up” is protesting outside Home Retail Group’s headquarters in Milton Keynes.
Dean Bland 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.
He says that he 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.”
Full list of washing machines in the May 2014 recall:
Bush WM1270TVE (white) and WM1270TVEME (silver)
Bush DIHWD1270TVE (white) and DIHWD1270TVEME (silver)
Bush WM1470TVE (white) and WM1470TVEME (silver)
Bush DIHWD1470TVE (white) and DIHWD1470TVEME (silver)
Haier HWD1270TVE (white) and HWD1270TVEME (silver)
Haier HWD1470TVE (white) and HWD1470TVEME (silver)
Haier 1470TVE (white) and 1470TVEME (silver)
The model number is on the body of the washing machine, just inside the door.