Fire Brigade cautions on candles after Thornton Heath blaze

Two house fires in Croydon in as many days have prompted the London Fire Brigade to issue a warning about the use of candles in the home.

The fires occurred in St Saviour’s Road this morning and in Thornton Heath yesterday. There were no reports of injuries at today’s fire, while one man was taken to hospital as a result of yesterday’s incident.

Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were called out to central Croydon at 6.36am today, where the first floor of a mid-terraced house was destroyed by fire. The fire was under control by 7am. Fire crews from Croydon, Norbury and Woodside fire stations attended the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Yesterday, the Brigade was called out when part of a four-roomed flat on the fifth floor of a building on Garnet Road was damaged by fire. Having been called out at 7.07am, it took four fire engines – from Norbury, Woodside and Croydon – and 25 firefighters to get the fir under control by 8.55am.

In this instance, the Brigade’s investigators believe the fire was caused by a tea light candle.

Fire risk: take care if using tea light candles

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Candles are one of the most common causes of fires in the home and you should be careful when using them.

“It’s really important that you never leave them unattended and keep them away from anything that could catch fire such as curtains, furniture or clothes.

“We recommend swapping traditional candles for LED flameless ones, as they are much safer.

“But if you do use real candles, follow our simple safety tips.”

  • Put out any candles, incense and oil burners when you leave the room, and especially before bed.
  • These items should always be held firmly in heat-resistant holders and placed on a stable surface where they won’t be knocked over.
  • Keep them away from materials that might catch fire – curtains, furniture, clothes and hair.
  • Be aware that tea lights get very hot and without proper holders can melt through plastic surfaces like a television set or bath
  • To avoid accidents, keep candles and other naked flames out of reach of children and pets.

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