Hemingford Grey couple escape fire caused by smouldering candle - thanks to smoke alarm

Fire engine

Fire engine - Credit: Archant

Fire-fighters have issued a reminder about using smoke alarms after a Hemingford Grey couple managed to escape a fire at their home on Saturday.

The couple, who were asleep at the time, heard the smoke alarm sounding and managed to evacuated the property in Sadlers Way and raise the alarm.

The incident happened just after midnight and is thought to have been called by a smouldering candle. Two crews from Huntingdon attended the scene and although the fire was out, the ground floor was severely smoke damaged.

The female resident was given oxygen by firefighters and checked over by the ambulance service for smoke inhalation.

Watch commander Ed Miller, of Huntingdon black watch, said: “A large candle the occupants believed had been extinguished had continued to burn after they had gone to bed. The candle was in a dish that contained decorative stones that were painted or plastic coated. Once the candle had burnt down sufficiently, the coating on the stones began to decompose and give off thick black smoke. Both downstairs rooms were smoke damaged and the size of the candle had the potential to spread radiated heat to other combustible surfaces close by.

Thankfully, the property had a working smoke alarm on each floor that woke the couple and gave them time to safely evacuate and alert the emergency services.”

WC Miller added: “This is a timely reminder to firstly ensure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your property and that it is tested regularly. It is important to remember the warm glow of a candle can look appealing as the winter nights draw in, but make sure any candles are properly extinguished before you go to bed and that a lit candle is never left unattended. Always ensure candles are placed on a suitable, flat surface and keep them well away from other combustibles like curtains, cushions and books.”