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‘Flames came from tumble dryer’ during fatal flat fire

A MAN whose partner and friend were killed in a flat fire has told of seeing flames coming out of a tumble dryer.

Garry Lloyd Jones, 50, who lived with the two men, told an inquest the Hotpoint dryer had been switched off when he went to bed the night before.

The hearing will examine whether the cause of the fire was a faulty dryer. Bernard Hender, 19, and Doug McTavish, 39, died at the flat in Llanrwst, north Wales, in October 2014.

Mr Lloyd Jones said he and Mr Hender had got home after a meal and Mr McTavish was in bed. He saw the dryer in the utility room with the door open but when he woke at 6am the flat was full of smoke. He said flames 18in high were coming from the drum of the dryer.

He tried to wake Mr McTavish and went to the bedroom where he said he ‘grabbed Bernie’s wrist. Bernie said, “I can’t find the door”. That was the last I heard of him’. Mr Lloyd Jones managed to crawl out of the flat to get help.

Investigator Paul Jenkinson said the fire service had not established the exact cause but it ‘could have been a range of things related to the tumble dryer’. Dominic Adamson, representing Whirlpool, makers of Hotpoint, said it may have been started by an iron left plugged in. The Abergele hearing continues.