Fire at home after candle left burning on Christmas morning

Damaged mantlepiece after fire

The mantlepiece at the Colchester home was damaged by a candle left unattended. - Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue Service

An elderly couple from Colchester were saved by their fire alarm after an unattended candle damaged a mantlepiece in the living room of their home on Christmas Day.

They were woken up by their working smoke alarms shortly after 12.30am on December 25. 

The couple immediately went downstairs at their Victoria Road home and discovered a small fire on their fireplace, which they managed to put out safely.

The fire was caused by a candle which had been left burning unattended.

Essex Fire Service Watch Manager Ian Ryder said: "This couple were extremely lucky that they were given such early warning of this fire.

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"If it wasn't for their working smoke alarms which woke them up, the fire would have had time to develop and spread and could have destroyed the whole house and put their lives at risk.

"This is exactly the reason we urge everyone to have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home.

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"Smoke alarms give you early warning of a fire, giving you time to get out of your house safely. 

"We also want to warn people of the dangers of leaving candles burning unattended. It is so important that when you leave the room you put your candles out.

"The safest way to enjoy candles is to get LED candles - they give off the same lovely warm glow but are so much safer, especially if you have pets or children at home."

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