Candle warning

Guineapigfeet

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Hi, I just wanted to share a very frightening experience in the hope it won’t happen to anyone else.

We all know how dangerous it is to leave candles burning unattended. Fire crews come into schools and drill this into us. But at 530 yesterday morning my next door neighbours’ house burnt down from a *burnt-out* candle, in a holder, that they left on top on a plastic storage box *outside* over night. The fire crews thought it was their tumble dryer in the conservatory but the smoke patterns didn’t match. They didn’t believe us when we said it started outside (my partner was the first to wake as we have a rear facing bedroom and the firelight woke him. I was the first to call 999 whilst he hammered on their front door to wake them - everyone got out fine) until nextdoor’s Cctv proved it started from just where we said it did.

It was terrifying how fast it spread. The fence was ablaze in minutes and by the time I was on the phone to the emergency services the conservatory was catching. From the conservatory it jumped to the loft and roof. The conservatory is gone. The boys’ bedroom and the spare room are destroyed, mostly from the roof collapsing in. The firstfloor floor is unsafe and there’s smoke and water damage in the whole of the back half of the house. Only the living room and the parents bedroom are OK. It does not bear thinking about what could have happened if we had been away, or if no one woke up. There was no smoke alarm in the conservatory and none in the loft.

Please please be super careful with candles, even if you think they are out. This can happen.

The firemen also gave us a tumble dryer lesson, as most house fires are caused by them. Never ever turn a drier off in the middle of a cycle. (I know we used to, if we had to go out unexpectedly) And never open the door. The rush of oxygen to a hot drier is enough to ignite it. Always turn the timer to 20mins to allow it go to through its cool-down cycle and then open it. (or how ever long the cool-down cycle of your drier is)

We were all very lucky. No one was hurt.
 

Betsy

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That is the stuff of nightmares. Thank goodness nobody was hurt. What a shock that must have been for everybody!
 

sport_billy

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Gosh, thanks so much for this post. So pleased no one was harmed, awful for all involved however :(
 

Louise's Zoo

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Just about to buy a new tumble dryer and had no idea about those safety tips. I've always opened mine mid cycle to check the laundry and hardly ever use the cool down time at the end!
 

Piggies&buns

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Just about to buy a new tumble dryer and had no idea about those safety tips. I've always opened mine mid cycle to check the laundry and hardly ever use the cool down time at the end!
I’m glad you know now.

Tumble driers scare me. Mine was affected by the hotpoint fiasco and needed the modification. It has had its modification but it took me 18 months after the modification to dare use it again. Even now I only use it if I absolutely have to.
 

Siikibam

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I’m glad everyone came out safe. Thanks for the info about thand dryer. I never open it mid cycle and more often than not I don’t open it immediately after it’s finished drying. Funny how those things are never mentioned, they should be written somewhere easily seen.
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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Hi, I just wanted to share a very frightening experience in the hope it won’t happen to anyone else.

We all know how dangerous it is to leave candles burning unattended. Fire crews come into schools and drill this into us. But at 530 yesterday morning my next door neighbours’ house burnt down from a *burnt-out* candle, in a holder, that they left on top on a plastic storage box *outside* over night. The fire crews thought it was their tumble dryer in the conservatory but the smoke patterns didn’t match. They didn’t believe us when we said it started outside (my partner was the first to wake as we have a rear facing bedroom and the firelight woke him. I was the first to call 999 whilst he hammered on their front door to wake them - everyone got out fine) until nextdoor’s Cctv proved it started from just where we said it did.

It was terrifying how fast it spread. The fence was ablaze in minutes and by the time I was on the phone to the emergency services the conservatory was catching. From the conservatory it jumped to the loft and roof. The conservatory is gone. The boys’ bedroom and the spare room are destroyed, mostly from the roof collapsing in. The firstfloor floor is unsafe and there’s smoke and water damage in the whole of the back half of the house. Only the living room and the parents bedroom are OK. It does not bear thinking about what could have happened if we had been away, or if no one woke up. There was no smoke alarm in the conservatory and none in the loft.

Please please be super careful with candles, even if you think they are out. This can happen.

The firemen also gave us a tumble dryer lesson, as most house fires are caused by them. Never ever turn a drier off in the middle of a cycle. (I know we used to, if we had to go out unexpectedly) And never open the door. The rush of oxygen to a hot drier is enough to ignite it. Always turn the timer to 20mins to allow it go to through its cool-down cycle and then open it. (or how ever long the cool-down cycle of your drier is)

We were all very lucky. No one was hurt.
Glad you said this. I open my dryer mid cycle alot. Because it beeps if the weight gets uneven
 

Guineapigfeet

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Glad you said this. I open my dryer mid cycle alot. Because it beeps if the weight gets uneven
I know, we did it quite a lot. I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do if it wants you to rearrange the clothes mid-cycle, maybe it’s ok if you close the door right away and restart it? I guess have a good check of the manual.
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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I never have mine on when I'm not there. And i have a fire and carbon monoxide alarm right above it. And a built in one on the house circuit in the hallway
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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I’m glad you know now.

Tumble driers scare me. Mine was affected by the hotpoint fiasco and needed the modification. It has had its modification but it took me 18 months after the modification to dare use it again. Even now I only use it if I absolutely have to.
Mine is the hotpoint aquarius
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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Everyone should empty the lint filters too. Sometime.found if you open the door at the bottom. Mine doesnt have one lol great
 

Guineapigfeet

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Our drier was one of the ones that had an overheating recall. All sorted though.

Turns out it was the candle holder that was at fault - the holder wasn’t heat proof (I have a feeling the manufacture will be asked to foot some of the bill) and was heating up and transferring all the heat to the storage box for the whole time it was lit and even well after it had burnt out (about 11pm). It must have got so hot the fence ignited (530am)
 

Merab's Slave

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So glad no-one was hurt - good job you woke up and reacted so promptly.

The tumble dryer warning is good too.
When we replaced ours we bought one that has a long cool down cycle and a door lock built in to the programmes to stop us from opening it too soon
 

Guineapigfeet

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So glad no-one was hurt - good job you woke up and reacted so promptly.

The tumble dryer warning is good too.
When we replaced ours we bought one that has a long cool down cycle and a door lock built in to the programmes to stop us from opening it too soon
That’s great, I think we’ll be looking for one like that when we replace ours !
 

Mother Hubbard

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Crikey, firstly well done you guys for spotting it and dealing with it so quickly it sounds like it could have been incredibly bad for the family. Secondly, you deserve a blooming medal and I'm sure you were also thinking of those around you too including our cho-oken leg friends)

THAT'S ALL....normal service resumes.
 
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