London Fire Brigade

Candle warning after Diwali celebrations cause flat fire

20 October 2017

Fire chiefs are reminding Londoners to take extra care when celebrating Diwali following a flat fire on Northolt Road in Harrow last night.

Four fire engines and around 20 firefighters and officers were called to the fire at a first floor property in a six floored block of flats. Part of a bedroom was damaged by the fire.

The fire is believed to have been caused by tea light candle in a shrine used to celebrate Diwali, which was left unattended when the occupants left the property.  Seventy people evacuated the property before the Brigade arrived.  Fortunately no injuries are reported.

Watch Manager Pat Flynn was at the scene, he said: “This fire could have been a lot worse but fortunately a quick thinking neighbour rang the Brigade immediately after seeing flames inside the flat. Crews arrived on scene very quickly and managed to contain the fire to the bedroom and stopped it spreading to the rest of the property.

“With Diwali celebrations continuing today and tomorrow we would urge Londoners to never leave candles unattended.  This was a severe fire and shows even a small candle left unattended can easily cause tremendous damage.”

Top candle safety tips

  • Keep candles/tea lights away from curtains, furniture and anything else that can catch fire. Keep loose clothing and hair away from candles/tea lights when they are lit.
  • Always place your candles/tea lights in a suitable fire resistant candleholder
  • Make sure the candleholder holds the candle/tea light firmly and is on a flat and stable surface to stop it falling over.

The Brigade was called at 2156 and the incident was over by 2252.  Fire crews from Northolt, Harrow and Wembley fire stations were at the scene.