Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Flat fire - candle left unattended

Mendip Crescent, Westcliff
29/03/2018 @ 00:47
Incident Number: 74608
In attendance: 2 x Southend, 1 x Leigh, 1 x Rayleigh Weir

Firefighters say the occupants of a flat had a lucky escape after a candle was left unattended last night.

On arrival at the scene, crews advised that one ground floor flat measuring approximately 15 metres by 20 metres was well alight and completely smoke logged.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire by 1.28am and clear the premises of the smoke by 1.50am.

The family have unfortunately been rendered homeless by the fire, which has completely destroyed the flat.

No other properties in the block, which is made up of nine flats across three storeys, were affected.

The fire was caused accidentally after a candle had been left to burn unattended in the porch area of the flat. The occupants of the property - two adults and a small child - fell asleep.

Wayne Davey, Watch Manager at Leigh Fire Station, said: "The occupants of this flat had a very lucky escape. While their home has been badly damaged, this incident could have been much more serious for them and was caused simply by leaving a candle alight.

"If you're feeling tired or using them late at night, candles can be incredibly dangerous - as this incident has demonstrated. Our advice is to never use them if you're feeling sleepy or not staying in the same room.

"This flat did also not have a smoke alarm - making it even more fortunate that the three people asleep while their flat was on fire got out and avoided injury. We encourage anyone who does not have a working smoke alarm at their property to call us on 0300 303 0088 - we'll come to your home and fit them for free."


Candle safety advice

•Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and are away from materials that may catch fire – like curtains.
•Children should not be left alone with lit candles.
•Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
•Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, but avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping.
•Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.
•Don’t move candles once they are lit.
•Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on burn time and proper use.
•Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause flaring.

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