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Candle fire at terraced house sparks candle warning

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 14, 2014

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Firefighters are warning people of the dangers of leaving lit candles unattended following a blaze at a terraced house in Shelton.

The Service was alerted to the incident on Seaford Street at approximately 12.40pm today and crews from Hanley and Longton attended.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a hose reel jet to tackle the blaze which started in a first floor bedroom.

It is believed that the fire broke out when two lit candles, which had been placed on the windowsill, fell onto the bed.

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Heavy smoke activated the alarm in the hallway. Unfortunately, the occupants who were downstairs, mistakenly believed the detector was faulty so didn’t call 999 until some minutes later.

By that time, the fire had taken hold, causing smoke damage to the walls and floor of the bedroom as well as spreading to the second floor.

No one was hurt as a result of the incident and the last crew returned to the station at 1.54pm.

Executive Director / Deputy Chief Executive Rebecca Bryant, who attended the fire, said: “The occupants of this house had an extremely lucky escape and the outcome could have been far more serious. Initially the residents believed that there was a fault with the smoke alarm so they didn’t react as quickly as they may have otherwise done. I would urge anyone to take note as soon as their alarm goes off and if they have any concerns to leave the property immediately and dial 999.

“This incident is also a stark reminder of the potential risks of leaving lit candles unattended. If a naked flame comes into contact with flammable items, such as bedding, the fire can spread easily and rapidly. Always put candles on flat surfaces and keep them away from curtains or hanging clothes.”

The incident took place during the first of two national Fire Brigades Union strikes that will take place today, running from midday-2pm and then from 10.59pm-11.50pm.

There were no other incidents of note during the industrial action.

In an emergency dial 999. For all other non-emergency enquiries contact: 08451 22 11 55 or log onto: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills.  

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