Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Candle starts house fire

Connaught Avenue, Loughton
21/02/2021 @ 00:07
Incident Number: 139572
In attendance: 1 x Loughton, 1 x Waltham Abbey

Crews have issued safety advice after a candle caused a house fire in Loughton.

Firefighters from Loughton and Waltham Abbey were called to a detached home in Connaught Avenue today at 12.07am.

A candle which had been thrown out of a first floor window set fire to decking and the fire spread to the kitchen. 

A fire service spokesperson said: "A candle had set light to net curtains in a bedroom. The occupant panicked and threw the candle out of the window and, very unluckily, it set fire to cushions on garden furniture. 

"Unfortunately, the cushions were extremely flammable and the fire quickly took hold, breaking the kitchen window and spreading to the kitchen."

The family got out, stayed out and called 999.

The spokesperson said: "Thankfully, Loughton Fire Station is less than 500 metres from the house and crews were able to deal with the fire really quickly.

"The fire was completely accidental and really unfortunate but it does highlight the dangers of candles. If you are using candles, please make sure they are away from materials that might catch fire and make sure they are completely out when you leave the room or go to bed."

The fire was extinguished by 1.47am and crews used a fan to clear the smoke. The ground floor suffered smoke damage, the decking area was badly damaged and the bedroom window and fascias suffered heat damage.

The family has been left temporarily homeless while the damage is assessed.

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.

Could you be an on-call firefighter?

Waltham Abbey Fire Station is recruting 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:

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