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Warning after tealight candle falls onto bed and starts blaze as man sleeps in Queens Avenue in Canterbury

By Lowri Stafford

A man woke up to find his bed on fire after a tealight fell off a shelf in the early hours of this morning.

The 50-year-old suffered burns in the blaze, which happened at his home in Queens Avenue, Canterbury at about 3am.

He had returned home from work and lit the candle on a wooden shelf above his bed before falling asleep without putting it out.

A tealight candle set the bed alight in Canterbury
A tealight candle set the bed alight in Canterbury

As he slept, it fell onto the bedding and set it alight. As the man tried to put out the flames, he suffered burns to his hands.

Another man sleeping in the next room was woken up by smoke alarms, and called emergency services.

Two crews from Canterbury rushed to the scene.

Watch manager Alison Aldridge said: "A man, believed to be about 50, had lit a tealight when he came home from work, which he'd left burning on a wooden shelf above his bed before going to sleep.

"While he was sleeping, it had dropped on to the bedding sparking the small fire.

"Fortunately, the semi-detached house had working smoke alarms, which alerted one of the other occupants who phoned 999."

Fire crews are on the scene. Stock image.
Fire crews are on the scene. Stock image.

Ambulance crews treated the man before taking him to hospital.

The fire has sparked a safety warning from firefighters about the dangers of leaving tealights unattended.

Ms Aldridge added: "The fire damage was limited to the bedding, mats and rugs in the bedroom but could have been a lot worse.

"We want to help everyone keep themselves, and their homes safe from the threat of fire, so if you have to use tealights, please use them carefully."

Safety advice includes placing tealights in a suitable holder on a heat resistant surface - never a TV, stereo, bath or other plastic area.

Fire crews also advise keeping tealights away from children, pets, and anything that could catch fire, and they warn against letting anything fall into the hot wax.

For more advice, phone 0800 923 7000 or go to www.3breaths.info.

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