Warning after Hatfield tealight blaze

FIREFIGHTERS have warned about the dangers of tealights after a fire ripped through a bathroom.

Crews from both Hatfield and WGC attended the blaze just at home in Church Street, Old Hatfield.

Firefighters said the resident had used candles as their electricity had not been working.

Hatfield crew manager Simon Dredge said: “The fire was caused by a tealight candle left burning on the top of the toilet cistern.

“Tealight candles can reach extremely high temperatures – the foil container becomes extremely hot – so if they are placed directly onto a plastic surface, like a television, stereo or even the edge of a bath, the tealight will burn through the plastic very quickly, causing a fire.

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“The property did not have a working smoke alarm, but luckily residents were awake; they heard a rustling noise, smelt smoke and discovered the fire.”

Mr Dredge added: “I urge residents to take extra care with tealights. If they are used without a proper, heat resistant container, they can be deadly. Once a fire has started people would be horrified at the speed at which it can take hold of a room.

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“Tealights are often sold in bags containing hundreds of candles, but safety information isn’t printed on the individual tealights. So if the candles get separated from their original packaging, so does the information about how to use them safely.

“The residents were very fortunate that they discovered the fire and were able to call the fire service. If you don’t already own one, get a smoke alarm and remember to test it every week. If a fire starts, it could be your only warning!”

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