Ever microwaved a baked potato? Take care – this woman did, and it nearly killed her

Fire damage that was caused by a microwave at the flat of Joyce Priddle, at Greenside Court, Thorney Close, Sunderland
Fire damage that was caused by a microwave at the flat of Joyce Priddle, at Greenside Court, Thorney Close, Sunderland
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A TERMINALLY-ILL woman was saved by a passer-by after fire ripped through her kitchen.

Pensioner Joyce Priddle was cooking a jacket potato when flames started pouring out of her microwave.

Joyce Priddle, of Greenside Court, Thorney Close, in her refurbished kitchen that was badly damaged by a fire caused by her microwave.

Joyce Priddle, of Greenside Court, Thorney Close, in her refurbished kitchen that was badly damaged by a fire caused by her microwave.

Luckily, a man spotted the blaze and alerted staff at Mrs Priddle’s sheltered accommodation in Thorney Close.

The grandmother-of-12 was led to safety after the blaze in May.

Daughter Anne Laydon, 52, from Pallion, said: “She was cooking a jacket potato when the microwave burst into flames.

“But a man walking by saw flames coming out of the kitchen window, so he banged on the front door and got the warden’s attention.

Fire damage that was caused by a microwave at the flat of Joyce Priddle, at Greenside Court, Thorney Close, Sunderland

Fire damage that was caused by a microwave at the flat of Joyce Priddle, at Greenside Court, Thorney Close, Sunderland

“The kitchen was totally gutted. Everything had to be replaced. The rest of the bedsit was smoke damaged.”

The kitchen has since been repaired, but the family claim they are still waiting for an answer from the supermarket chain as to what caused the fire in the microwave, which Mrs Priddle bought from Asda at Leechmere.

Tests have been carried out and Asda said there is no evidence of the microwave being faulty.

A spokeswoman for the firm said: “The safety of our products is critical to us and we take any reports like this very seriously.

Fire damage that was caused by a microwave at the flat of Joyce Priddle, at Greenside Court, Thorney Close, Sunderland

Fire damage that was caused by a microwave at the flat of Joyce Priddle, at Greenside Court, Thorney Close, Sunderland

“Although we have had no other similar complaints on this product and our investigations so far have found no conclusive fault, we are continuing to investigate to try and understand what could have happened.”

Mrs Priddle, who has lived in Anchor-owned Greenside Court for 11 years, was diagnosed with lung cancer five years ago. It has since spread to her lymph glands.

Anne, one of five siblings and her mother’s full-time carer, said: “It has just left her worn out and down and constantly tired and she is using oxygen a lot more.

“Anchor put the kitchen right and the family bought new electrical things.

“We spend £1,156 and we’re still waiting to hear from the insurance.”

John Hall, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service District Manager for Sunderland, said: “The situation could have been much worse. There was a working smoke alarm fitted in the property which activated.

“I would like to remind everyone of the importance of having working smoke alarms fitted. They give you early warning and allow you precious time to get out, stay out and call 999.

“Following the incident, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service gave a safety talk to occupants of Greenside Court to raise awareness of safety hazards around the home.”

Firefighters have said the suspected cause of the fire is an electrical fault.

Twitter: @janethejourno