FIRE fighters in Burton have warned people about the dangers of leaving candles unattended, following a flaming wick caused a flat fire in the town.
The blaze broke out at a flat in Pavilion Gardens on Monday afternoon, after the woman who lived there lit a candle and then went out.
Nobody was hurt in the fire, but Staffordshire Fire and Rescue has taken the opportunity to urge people to be aware of issues relating to unattended flames – particularly when the house is full of Christmas decorations, which could create even more of a fire hazard in people’s homes.
Tim Hyde, group manager for the east of the county for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, said: “A lot of people buy decorative candles at this time of year and, with all the Christmas decorations in people’s homes, they can pose a real hazard if they are not used responsibly.
“Lit candles should never be left unattended and people should always make sure that they are fully extinguished before going to bed.
“Never place them near to curtains or other combustible materials and don’t put them on top of televisions. It is vital to put lit candles in proper candle holders on a completely flat and stable surface.
“Alternatively, electronic tea lights are battery operated and can be just as effective, but they are much safer.”
The woman at Pavilion Grove returned from her outing to find her home ablaze.
She called the fire service and two crews from Burton attended the douse the flames.
They used two breathing apparatus and one hose reel jet to extinguish the blaze.
The woman was given oxygen therapy at the scene to try to combat any symptoms of smoke inhalation, but did not require hospital treatment.
Her flat has been damaged as a result of the fire, which a spokesman for the service described as ‘quite bad’.
Fire fighters left the house at just before 4pm, and subsequent investigations have shown that the blaze was caused accidentally.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue has now issued a number of tips for using candles safely in the home.
They recommend never leaving a candle unattended, or going to sleep when they are lit; leaving space around a candle and its holder, which should be fit for the job; putting candles on flat, stable surfaces; keeping candles out of the reach of children and pets; and always extinguish then with a snuffer.
Fires should be reported on 999.