London Fire Brigade

Lucky family narrowly escape candle bedroom blaze

03 June 2014

An extremely lucky family beat the odds and escaped unhurt after a serious fire in their home.

The fire at the flat on St Julian’s Farm Road in West Norwood, was started by a candle left unattended on top of a computer table which set fire to clothes hanging on the back of the door.

On discovering the fire, the family tried to tackle it themselves using water and a dry powder extinguisher, and called the Brigade when they realised they couldn’t control the fire.

Two fire engines and 14 firefighters and officers from West Norwood fire station were called to the scene. When the Brigade arrived the family had left the flat and crews wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire.

Mark Hazelton, Community Safety Group Manager for London Fire Brigade, said:

“This could be the luckiest family in London, with such a lucky escape it might be worthwhile them buying a lottery ticket tonight.

“You should make sure candles are kept well away from anything that could catch fire like clothing, otherwise the results can be catastrophic. It’s also very important to put candles out when you leave the room.

“If you have a fire in your home do not try to tackle it yourself. Leave it to the professionals and remember get out, stay out and dial 999.”

The Brigade was called at 2038 and the fire was under control by 2103.

The Brigade’s top three candle safety tips are:

1) Always place candles / tea lights in a fire resistant container
2) Place them a heat resistant surface, like a ceramic plate
3) Keep candles well away from items that could catch fire