A dad has warned others of the hazards of plugging in unauthorised chargers after his home went up in flames.
Paul King, 55, from Firthmoor in Darlington, was with wife Maria, 41, and youngest son Charlie, five, in the kitchen when he was alerted by a strange noise and headed upstairs to see if he could find the cause, Teesside Live reports.
He said: "I was in the kitchen with my wife and my youngest son, when I heard a little pop, which I thought was strange.
"As soon as I made a move to go and see what it was, the fire alarm started going off.
"I shot upstairs and could immediately see all the doors were open, apart from the door to my eldest son, Alfie's room.
"When I have gone in there, that is when I saw the mattress alight."
Mr King went on to describe how he immediately picked up the mattress in an attempt to take it into the bathroom and extinguish the flames, but said that as soon as he did that it just started to get worse, and his clothes caught fire.
He said: "As soon as my clothes caught fire, I just dropped the mattress where it was and ran downstairs to get everyone out.
"When I got my family and the dog outside, I went back in the house to isolate the gas and electric and then we just waited for the fire brigade, who did come pretty quick.
"I had a few small burns on my leg but nothing serious."
The fire services told Mr King that the fire had been started from a mobile phone charger that was plugged in and on the bed.
He said: "The charger had a nick in the wire and, was on top of some clothing, they think this is how the fire started, people don't realise the dangers of these unauthorised chargers
"Everybody has them, but really they are not to be messed with.
"If me speaking out saves one person, then it is worth it."
Mr King and his family have had to be relocated to Middlesbrough whilst the damage to the house is being repaired.
"I am very much of the view that possessions can be replaced," he said.
"It is not nice being out of our home, especially as we do not know when we will be able to go back, it it doubtful we will be back in for Christmas, but the main thing is we all got out safely.
"We are just focusing on keeping as much of a structured routine for the kids as we can.
"Our priority at the moment is trying to keeping life as normal as possible for them during this time.
A County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said "We were called to reports of a house fire at 9.51am on Friday, November, 19, in Firthmoor, Darlington.
"Two appliances attended the incident, one from Bishop Auckland and another from Crook.
"On arrival two firefighters with breathing apparatus were deployed into the building and used a hose reel to extinguish the fire. One male occupant was treated on scene by NEAS, and our crews left the scene at 11.07am.
"A fire investigation has been carried out and determined the cause of the fire was due to an aftermarket charging cable."
CDDFRS Community Safety Manager, Glen Stewart said: "We would like to urge all residents not to leave their phones charging on their beds, sofas or underneath pillows. The devices can heat up exceptionally quickly, and when left on a combustible surface, this becomes a recipe for disaster.
"This particular fire seems to have begun within the cable itself, rather than the mobile phone. We would urge people to use the manufactures supplied equipment and check the chargers that they are using to ensure they are not damaged, frayed or have exposed wires, as these can all lead to a fire beginning.
"Thankfully this family were lucky to detect the fire straight away, get out of the house and alert our control room, which meant our crews responded quickly and extinguished the fire without anyone being badly injured."
Here's some simple steps you can take to help prevent an electrical fire in your home:
DON’T overcharge items. Mobile phones do not take 8 hours to charge, so do not charge these overnight.
DON'T overload plug sockets.
DO regularly check for worn or frayed wires.
DO unplug appliances, including charging cables when not in use.
DO keep appliances clean and in good working order.
DO fully unwind extension cables prior to their use
If anyone would like to book a Home Fire Safety you can either visit here or call 0345 223 4221.
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