COMEDIAN and radio presenter Ted Robbins has told of a tumble dryer fire which gutted part of his home and left him needing treatment for smoke inhalation.

Mr Robbins, who lives in Rossendale, with his wife Judith, has also expressed his gratitude to the firefighters who arrived at his home within moments of being called.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, he said: “I was ready to go to the gym and an acrid smell starting coming through the house. I went outside to see if anyone nearby was burning something, but couldn’t see anything.

“The smell was getting stronger so I started to check all of the appliances in the house to see if anything was wrong.”

Mr Robbins then went downstairs to his utility room where the tumble dryer was on fire.

The former Phoenix Nights star used a damp towel in a bid to stop the fire, but had to get out of the room due to the amount of smoke coming from the machine.

The 63-year-old said: “Within minutes smoke was billowing out of the machine and I knew that I had to get out. It didn’t matter about the things that were downstairs, the most important thing was to get out of the house safely.

“We are finding it really difficult to get our heads around it as the machine wasn’t on. It had been earlier in the day but my wife Judith had switched it off and left the door open before she left the house.

“Somebody seriously needs to look at the safety of these machines, as we never leave it on when we are out and clean out the lint tray regularly, and yet somehow it still happened.”

Mr and Mrs Robbins were able to see the lighter side of things after the fire had been put out, with Mr Robbins remarking: “Judith was disappointed as all of her knickers were in the machine!”

Firefighters from Rawtenstall and Ramsbottom put the fire out and treated Mr Robbins for smoke inhalation as a precaution.

He said: “I feel absolutely fine, they just wanted to give me some oxygen as a precaution. I really can’t thank them enough, they were brilliant and they do such a good job.”