News release text
An elderly couple have been taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation after a candle caused a fire at their Cliffe home.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service received a call shortly after 9am today (Friday 31 January) to say there was fire in the bathroom of the Quickrells Avenue home.
Two fire engines were sent to the scene and Strood Crew Manager Ian Collins explains what had happened: “The 85-year-old lady had put a candle on top of the toilet cistern while she had a shower and it burnt down, setting light to the cistern. Fortunately they had working smoke alarms which sounded although her 83-year-old husband then tried to tackle the blaze with a damp towel and they both inhaled a lot of smoke in the process, hence the trip to hospital as a precaution.
“The messages here are clear; have a working smoke alarm, take great care with candles and, if you’re unlucky enough to suffer a fire, don’t risk injury by tackling a fire – call 999 and call the fire service out!”
Minimal damage was caused to the bathroom but firefighters are reminding residents of the following tips when using candles:
· They should be fitted in a candle holder and placed on a non-flammable surface.
· Do not leave burning candles unattended - especially with young children or pets in the house.
· Do not place burning candles close to curtains, bedding or clothing which might catch fire.
· Do not place burning candles on window sills or on the floor.
· Extinguish all candles before going to bed.
· Do not place burning candles where they might be knocked over.
· Buy ceramic containers that are well ventilated, containers will get very hot and may make the flame larger and cause it to flare up.
· Do not allow anything to fall into the molten wax as this can form a secondary wick.
· Do not move candles when they are alight or while the wax is molten.