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Maidstone home burns down after candle ignites gas

By Ron Green

Candles cause fire

Candles cause fire

A woman lodger woke up in the middle of the night and could smell gas coming from the parlour of her home in Maidstone.

She woke her landlord, Mr T.M. Caney, who “hastened” to investigate – lighting his way in the darkness with a burning candle.

The subsequent explosion blew out the parlour windows of the County Road house, smashed the door, damaged part of a washhouse and started a fire.

Poor Mr Carney was knocked unconscious and badly burned. Even his whiskers caught fire. But he rallied enough to tackle the fire.

The Gazette reported: “Although seriously injured he immediately procured a pail of water, threw it over the burning articles, and extinguished the fire.”

September 12, 1871

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