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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Severe House Fire Caused by Candles


A house fire which has destroyed a family home in Stoke started after candles were left burning unattended and fell over on Friday night.

"Accidents can and do happen so please ensure candles are used responsibly."

Station Manager, Brian Griffiths

Crews from Hanley, Newcastle and Longton were called to Campbell Road in Stoke at 6.40pm on Friday night, following reports of smoke billowing from the house.

The property had no smoke alarms fitted.

At the time of the fire the house was occupied by two brothers and two of their friends all in their 20s. All four of them were upstairs when they heard a loud bang from the lounge below.

One of the men went to investigate and was faced with a fierce blaze, he went back upstairs to inform the others but when they all tried to come downstairs to get out they found their exit blocked by the fire.

Station Manager, Brian Griffiths said: “The two brothers and their friends were unable to get out of the house via the ground floor doors and so instead started to exit from an upstairs window.

“At this moment, their father arrived home and immediately went to help them out of the window safely. Thankfully, all four of them were ok and one of the women attended hospital for a precautionary check only.”

The house has been severely damaged by the fire and the family will be unable to return to it for some time.

Brian said: “It’s an awful thing to happen just before Christmas but thankfully everyone is ok. The fire started after candles had been left burning unattended. It appears the house had suffered a power cut so the occupants lit candles and put them in a suitable holder then placed this on the mantelpiece.

“Although a suitable holder was used, the candles had been placed directly in front of a wooden framed photograph which was hanging on the wall. The candles eventually set fire to the frame which fell off the wall and knocked the candles onto the sofa.

“Unfortunately no smoke alarms were fitted in the property so the occupants received no early warning, they were just lucky to hear a noise downstairs when they did.

“Every home needs to have smoke alarms fitted on each level and these should be tested weekly to ensure they work. We would also urge anyone who uses candles never to leave them unattended as accidents can and do happen so please ensure candles are used responsibly.”

Crews left the scene at 11.00pm on Friday and firefighters returned to the area on Saturday to offer neighbouring properties fire safety advice and free Home Fire Risk Checks.