Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Flat fire caused by unattended candles

Danbury Crescent, South Ockendon
30/11/2019 @ 22:43
Incident Number: 113825
In attendance: 2 x Grays, 1 x Orsett

Firefighters were called to a flat fire in South Ockendon last night after a man fell asleep with candles alight.

On arrival, crews reported that the living room of a first floor flat was 100% on fire and smoke logged.

Crews extinguished the fire by 11.28pm. A man in his sixties was left in the care of the Ambulance Service, after suffering burns and smoke inhalation when attempting to extinguish the fire.

Dave Hogan, Watch Manager at Grays Fire Station, said: "I have absolutely no doubt that this man's life was saved because he had a working smoke alarm.

"He made the mistake of falling asleep with candles alight, but fortunately his smoke alarm alerted him to the danger before it was too late.

"We know that, particularly at this time of year, it can be tempting to use candles - but if you are going to, please keep a close eye on them at all times and follow our safety advice."

The flat has been destroyed.

Follow our 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.
  • 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.

Not got a working smoke alarm?

We want every property in Essex to be protected by working smoke alarms - so if you don't have them in your home, we'll come and fit them for free!

To arrange your visit, or if you know anyone who would benefit from a visit, please contact us:

Call: 0300 303 0088


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The consultation is a chance for the local community to tell us what matters to them and what approach they think we should take.

The responses will enable us to develop an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) in the New Year.

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