Warning after Hatfield fire
A FLAT has been left uninhabitable after an unattended tea light caused a blaze which gutted the main living area.
The incident prompted an immediate warning from fire chiefs about the dangers of leaving candles unattended.
Firefighters rushed to Talbot Road in Hatfield on Thursday after reports of black smoke billowing from a first floor window.
The crews from both WGC and Hatfield fire stations were unsure whether the residents were still inside so had to enter the flats wearing breathing apparatus.
They worked to control the flames and contained the blaze to the living room which was completely destroyed.
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The rest of the flat was severely smoke damaged.
WGC station commander Les Jones, who attended the scene, said: “This was an extremely serious fire, which has completely destroyed the living room of the flat.
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“Our firefighters did an excellent job in extinguishing the fire quickly and containing it to one room.
“It is fortunate that no-one was in the property at the time as the consequences could have been even worse.”
Initial investigations into the cause of the fire point to a tea light being left alight in the room with a window open, while the occupants went out.
Fire officers believe a gust of wind caused the flame to catch the curtains alight, which then spread throughout the room.
Mr Jones said this sends out a vital warning to other residents.
He added: “I would like to remind people never to leave candles unattended; always use them in a proper candle holder and fully extinguish them before leaving the room.
“If a fire does break out in your home, a working smoke alarm is your best chance of escaping alive so test yours today.”