THE award-winning Oxfordshire hotel where Masterchef finalist Nick Bennett wows diners with fine cuisine narrowly avoided disaster after a tumble dryer caught fire.

Firefighters have congratulated staff at Sudbury House Hotel, Faringdon, for rushing into action so quickly that wedding guests were arriving for a party just an hour later as if nothing had happened.

Smoke alarms went off just before 1pm yesterday and staff trained in using fire extinguishers were abled to douse the flames before disaster hit.

Other employees, hearing the alarm, called 999 just in case.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service incident commander Graham Turner said: "The tumble dryer caught fire in a dedicated utility room on the second floor of the hotel.

"It was a small fire and there was no risk to guests, but there was quite a lot of smoke and it could easily have closed an area of the hotel, which would have been disastrous as they had a wedding and all rooms booked for the night.

Oxford Mail:

"However this was a really good example of how effective fire procedures and trained staff can make the difference and allow a business to get back to normal very quickly."

Firefighters made sure the fire was definitely out and cleared the remaining smoke using fans.

As a result, Mr Turner said: "Within an hour the hotel was operating normally, with all rooms available and ready for guests to arrive for the wedding and enjoy the party."

As proof of how much worse things could have been, just over a week ago a family home in East Challow near Wantage was destroyed by a fire believed to have been sparked by a tumble dryer.

Oxford Mail:

The family who lived at the house were forced to abandon their home and possessions following the blaze on Friday, July 29, sparking a fundraising campaign from friends and neighbours in the village.

She warned others to beware of the dangers that tumble dryers could potential pose.