Cotton towels or cloths used to clean up oil can self-ignite and set tumble driers on fire.
The warning comes from firefighters after a machine caught fire in Fartown.
Crews from Huddersfield and Rastrick were called to the house on Dewhurst Road at 1.45pm yesterday (thurs).
The woman who lives in the house was out but had put clothes into the combined washer/dryer to wash and then tumble dry.
Luckily the landlord was working on guttering at the house and heard the smoke detector go off.
He went to investigate, found the machine on fire and managed to bundle it out of the house and down some steps.
Watch Commander Robin Ferguson from Huddersfield Fire Station said: “It was sheer good fortune someone was there. The machine was in the kitchen and if the fire had caught hold it could have caused significant damage.”
He said he believed the fire had been caused by towels ‘self-heating’ in the machine and then catching fire.
Watch Commander Ferguson said this can happen if they have been used to mop up oil – and that could range from motor oil to cooking oil.
* Firefighters were also called to a house on Station Road in Lepton at 12.30pm yesterday.
Bread had caught fire in a toaster but a woman had doused the fire with water before crews arrived.
The fire damaged the work surface and a kitchen unit.