London Fire Brigade

Christmas decoration warning following spate of candle fires in the capital

06 December 2011

Firefighters are today urging people to take extra care when putting up their Christmas decorations following a severe fire last night.

Early indications suggest the blaze in Brentford was caused by an unattended candle falling onto Christmas decorations in a bedroom. Four fire engines and around 20 firefighters were called to the fire at a house on Lionel Road North in Brentford. The Brigade was called to two further candle fires last Friday.


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Figures from last December show that one fire a day in London was caused by a candle. This caused, on average, one fire injury every other day. Nationally, firefighters went to nearly 150 candle related fires in the last month of 2010.

Following the incident, fire chiefs are warning people to make sure that they never leave candles unattended and to think carefully when putting up their Christmas decorations so no candles are placed nearby.

Watch Manager Rob Edwards at Acton Fire Station said:

“We believe this fire was caused by a candle left unattended in a bedroom. At this time of year people light candles at home but make sure they’re well clear of Christmas decorations. Unattended candles and tinsel are a potentially lethal mix that could ruin more than just Christmas.

“There was no working smoke alarm in the house and the people inside were only alerted to the fire because someone was still awake downstairs. It’s vitally important to have a working smoke alarm. If a friend or family member doesn't have one, buy them an alarm for Christmas - it could be the most important present you ever give.”

The Brigade was called at 2344 and the fire was under control by 0118. Fire crews from Acton, Ealing and Chiswick fire stations attended the incident.

Last Friday (2 December) the Brigade attended two separate fires in flats both caused by unattended candles. Twenty firefighters attended a flat fire on Belsize Road in Kilburn and an older woman was treated for smoke inhalation after a fire on Holmewood Gardens in Brixton.

Notes to editors:

Pictures taken at the fire at on Lionel Road North in Brentford.

Figures supplied by Department for Communities and Local Government December fire statistics.