Microwaveable teddy caused house fire in Leeds

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Warnings have been issued about the possible dangers of microwaveable heating devices after a house fire in Leeds.

Firefighters were called to a property in Hyde Park, Leeds, after a woman in her 20s started a fire as she warmed up a wheat bag in the shape of a teddy bear on Monday night.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said she suffered smoke inhalation as she tried to extinguish the flames and was checked over by paramedics but did not require hospital treatment.

Wheat bags are often used for pain relief and are a popular Christmas gift, but can overheat if misused.

Fire investigation officer Lee Miller said: “A fire can start in the microwave or some time later when, for example, the wheat bag may have been placed into a bed or elsewhere.

“This obviously is of concern if the wheat bag is next to combustible items as it could result in a much larger fire.

“If used correctly, however, following the manufacturer’s instructions, wheat bags can be perfectly safe.”

Experts say they wheat bags should be heated according to manufacturers’ instructions and should not be used if there are signs of deterioration.

They should not be reheated until completely cool.