Warning after laptop left on charge caused blaze at Leeds house

LAPTOP and tablet owners are being warned not to leave devices on charge unsupervised after a blaze at a Leeds house was caused by a  device overheating.

Thursday, 6th April 2017, 9:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:23 pm
West Yorkshire Fire Service images of the charred laptop and other damage caused in the blaze.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service issued the warning after releasing photos of damage done in the blaze the house in St David's Road, Otley on Tuesday afternoon.

A laptop with a new battery installed had been left on charge in a wardrobe in a bedroom at the house before the owner went out.

A neighbour alerted fire crews after spotting smoke coming from a bedroom window at around 4pm on Tuesday.

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Fire crews from Otley, Rawdon and Shipley extinguished the blaze which badly damaged the bedroom, before quickly establishing the blaze was caused by a laptop.

Station Commander Dave Cookson of West Yorkshire Fire Service, said: "It is a problem we have with laptops in general. People use laptops and then put them down on a settee or bed and it causes overheating. They generate heat anyway but it also blocks the vents designed to create a flow of air to the electronics.

"In this case we think because he had put it on charge and then put it in a confined space it had overheated, because heat builds up gradually. We could see the battery had exploded.

"Our advice is always use a laptop or device on a solid surface and don't leave your house with laptops and tablets on charge or there is a risk of overheating and the overheating can cause a fire."