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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Candle fire sparks safety warning

06/03/2015

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Firefighters are warning people of the dangers of leaving lit candles unattended following a blaze at house in Bentilee.

"The occupants of this house had an extremely lucky escape and the outcome could have been far more serious. The residents thought they had blown the candle out but it hadn’t quite been extinguished so it continued to burn, melting the plastic fish tank. This incident is a stark reminder of the potential risks of leaving lit candles unattended."

Station Manager Simon Craythorn

The Service was alerted to the incident at Spalding Place at 6.30am today and crews from Hanley and Longton attended.

The fire, which was out on arrival, was sparked by a candle which had not been properly extinguished.

It had been placed on top of a plastic fish tank which melted due to the heat, causing toxic smoke to be released.

Two smoke alarms that had been fitted in the property had been removed and a third was not working.

Two adults and four children who were in the house when the incident occurred suffered from smoke inhalation.

Station Manager Simon Craythorn, who attended the incident, said: "The occupants of this house had an extremely lucky escape and the outcome could have been far more serious. The residents thought they had blown the candle out but it hadn’t quite been extinguished so it continued to burn, melting the plastic fish tank. This incident is a stark reminder of the potential risks of leaving lit candles unattended.

"The situation was not helped by the fact that the smoke alarms were either not working or had been taken down. We have had a number of incidents in the north of the county where smoke alarms have literally saved people’s lives – they really are that important."

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service offers residents free Home Fire Risk Checks.

Crew members or trained technicians check every room in the property for potential fire hazards and speak to residents about their everyday behaviour in the home. Using this information, they try to identify anything that may increase the risk of a fire.

They also fit free smoke alarms in homes that do not already have them or will replace detectors if they are installed but don’t work.

People are being encouraged to book a HFRC by calling Freephone 0800 0241 999, texting 07528 983101 or visiting www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp