The historic Shipwright’s Arms Hotel had a close call with fire on the weekend, when a guest woke and alerted the owner to smoke coming from the kitchen.
Established in 1846, Battery Point’s Shipwright’s Arms, known locally as “Shippies” prides itself on being a traditional old school pub.
After a busy Friday night last weekend, laundry was washed and put into the dryer, located in the kitchen. A few hours later, a guest spotted smoke emanating from the kitchen area and alerted licensee owner Tony Kennedy.
“I’d only been in bed for about three hours, we’d had a huge night,” Kennedy told the ABC.
“I went down and discovered smoke thickening very quickly. It was a pretty surreal experience, trying to work out where the hell it was coming from.”
Emergency services were called and fourteen guests evacuated in near-freezing conditions, just before 5am Saturday (24 June).
Fire crews dragged the smouldering dryer onto the street and hosed it down.
A spokesman for the Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS) said the fire was only minutes from spreading, and had not been detected by the Hotel’s smoke detectors, so no alarm was triggered.
The fire was ultimately caused by greasy fabrics left in the hot dryer.
“The TFS would like to warn the public that the danger of spontaneous combustion is significantly increased if material that has been in oils or fats is dried using a clothes dryer,” boded station officer Paul Terry.
“The TFS would also like to remind the public that another common cause of fires in clothes dryers is clogged lint filters. Lint filters must be cleaned following each use.”
Photo-electric smoke detectors are recommended for fire prevention safety, as they can pick up smouldering fires such as experienced at Shippies, which was fitted with ionisation smoke alarms that did not detect the fire.
Lessee of Shippies, Kennedy currently has the hotel on the market through Knight Frank.
It is understood there was no serious damage to the building from the fire.