Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Kitchen fire - family made homeless

Taylifers, Harlow
10/11/2018 @ 20:00
Incident Number: 89929
In attendance: 2 x Harlow

Crews were called to a flat after the resident returned home to hear the smoke alarm going off and the property full of smoke.

On arrival firefighters entered the building to find the cause of the smoke and discovered that a fire had started in the kitchen and burned itself out. 

Watch Manager Stephen Harrison said:

"The kitchen window frame had melted and the window had smashed from the heat of the fire, which we believe was caused from candles or incense sticks, which had been left burning on the windowsill. 

"The fire had spread to nearby boxes and paper, which had created a lot of black smoke and ash, meaning although the fire then burned itself out, the flat has suffered smoke and fire damage. 

"This incident shows how important it is to ensure that candles are secured in an appropriate holder and never left unattended."

Follow Essex County Fire and Rescue Service's advice when using candles:

  • 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.
  • Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night.
  • 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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