News release text
Thanet’s firefighters are urging residents to take extra care with candles after tea lights caused a fire in a flat last night (Thursday).
Two fire engines from Ramsgate and one from Margate were called to the blaze in Chandos Square at 11.40pm.
Fortunately, the residents, believed to be in their early 40’s, had managed to get out of their basement property to safety but were both suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.
The fire is believed to have started after tea lights set fire to curtains in the front room. When firefighters arrived seven minutes later, they found a well developed fire which had broken out of the basement window, with flames visible in the street up to five metres from the property.
At the scene, crews in breathing apparatus went into the flat and successfully tackled the fire using two hose reels, a jet and a hydrant.
Ramsgate Watch Manager, Chris Nation, said: “The pair were really lucky to escape unharmed and have their working smoke alarm to thank for that. Without it, the fire could have developed, possibly causing serious injury.”
Chris added: “We realise that tea lights have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, many people are still unaware of the dangers that candles and tea lights can present. The flame from a candle can quickly ignite a nearby curtain or clothing if it’s placed too close, or gets knocked over.
“Candles that are forgotten about and left burning unattended can also cause fires. Get free fire safety advice to help keep you safe or call Kent Fire and Rescue Service for free on 0800 923 7000 or go to www.3breaths.info for further information.”
Follow these safety tips when using tea lights:
Always place the tea light in a suitable holder on a heat resistant surface
Never place on a TV, stereo, bath or other plastic surface
Don’t let anything fall into the hot wax
Keep tea lights well away from anything that could easily catch fire e.g. never place under a shelf
Keep tea lights away from draughts
Keep tea lights away from children and pets
Never leave a tea light unattended
Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every floor of your home
Assistance was also provided by a Red Cross vehicle which was also at the scene.