Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to take extra care with candles after firefighters were called to the flat at the YMCA in Gibbon Road, Bedford in the early hours of Sunday (November 8).
Two fire engines from Bedford and one from Kempston were on the scene just six minutes after getting a 999 call at 00.26am.
Firefighters using breathing apparatus tackled the blaze and quickly put it out. However, the fire caused serious damage to the property and smoke damage to the ground floor of the building.
There were no casualties and the fire is thought to have been caused by a candle. The incident was closed at 1am.
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Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued the following safety tips about using candles in the home:
1. Place candles in a heat-resistance holder or on a heat-resistant surface – be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, which get hot enough to melt plastic and burn wood
2. Keep candles away from curtains and other combustible materials such as paper, cardboard and fabric covered furniture which could catch fire if the flame of the candle accidentally came into contact with them
3. Try to avoid moving candles once they are lit – this reduces the risk of accidentally dropping them or bring them into contact with combustible materials
4. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets – children may play with them out of curiosity and pets can knock them over
5. Only use candles in well ventilated rooms to avoid the risk of fumes building up
6. Make sure you snuff out the candle fully when you are finished with it, do not leave candles burning when you are out of the room and always put them out before going to bed