House fire

Don’t leave candles unattended warns fire service

Dorset Fire and Rescue have warned of the risks of leaving candles unattended after two house fires in Bournemouth within a week.

A student house in Holdenhurst road suffered serious damage following a fire claimed to be caused by a candle in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The Breaker visited the scene and spoke to Alan Cunningham, Director of Triple A Fire and Electrical Ltd based in Bournemouth:


Fire engines from Springbourne, Redhill, Westbourne and Christchurch attended the scene after the first call was received at 02:42 am on Tuesday 20th March.

Mr Cunningham also said people should use ‘common sense’ and never leave any lit flame unattended.

He also emphasised the importance regularly checking smoke and heat detectors on a weekly basis.

Springbourne Station Manager, Julian Lockwood, said: “A candle had been left burning on a dressing table in the downstairs bedroom, and this set the curtains alight.

“The occupant was woken by the heat of the fire and quickly left the room; as the smoke then reached the hallway, the smoke alarms went off and the other tenants were alerted and also escaped safely.”

Mr Lockwood reiterated Mr Cunningham’s points: “This is the second fire in Bournemouth within a week to be caused by unattended candles, and I would urge people to never leave candles burning when they go out of the room or go to sleep.

“There are LED options which provide the same visual effect but are much safer.”

“The fact that this property had working smoke alarms meant that the tenants upstairs were alerted quickly and were able to escape unharmed. Every home should have smoke alarms fitted, and they should be tested regularly to ensure that they work.”


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