Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Candle starts bedroom fire

Hilltop Lane, Saffron Walden
27/09/2020 @ 21:27
Incident Number: 131794
In attendance: 2 x Saffron Walden

On-call firefighters extinguished a bedroom fire caused by an unattended candle.

Two crews from Saffron Walden attended the incident in Hilltop Lane, Saffron Walden yesterday (27 September) at 9.27pm.

They found a fire in a ground floor bedroom in a chalet bungalow. The property was heavily smoke logged.

Crews extinguished the fire by 10.06pm and used a fan to ventilate the property, however, it was left uninhabitable.

Watch Manager Paul Curtis said: "It looks like an unattended candle left on a dresser set a curtain alight and the fire spread through the room, causing significant damage to the bedroom and smoke damage throughout the property.

"Thankfully a smoke alarm alerted the occupants and they did the right thing - they got out, stayed out and called 999. If possible, when you are leaving your house, close as many doors as possible to stop the smoke and fire from spreading."  

One of the occupants used a garden hose to douse the fire through a window from outside the property, before crews arrived.

Could you be an on-call firefighter?

The firefighters who attended this incident were on-call firefighters - people who live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station and are paid to protect their local community.

To find out more about the role and how you can apply, visit:

Candles: What precuations should I take?

  • Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and are away from materials that may catch fire – like curtains.
  • Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night.
  • 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.
  • Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause flaring.
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