Candle Linked To Morning House Fire In Lookout Valley

Thursday, May 08, 2014

A family in Lookout Valley was using a candle for light Thursday morning and the result was a house fire.

The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 6:35 a.m. and responded to 3613 Kellys Ferry Road with four fire companies. Battalion Chief Nate Middlebrooks said the family was in the process of moving and the power had been disconnected to the house. So they were using a candle for light, and at some point, the candle started a fire in the bathroom. Everyone got out safely and called 911.

Chattanooga firefighters arrived moments later and quickly extinguished the fire, containing the fire damage to the bathroom. The rest of the house had smoke damage. Chief Middlebrooks said the loss was estimated at only $2,000. The cause of the fire will be ruled accidental.

Here are some safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) related to candles:

Candles may be pretty to look at but they are a cause of home fires — and home fire deaths. Remember, a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn.

  • Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
  • Think about using flameless candles in your home. They look and smell like real candles.

If you do burn candles, make sure that you:

  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily.
  • Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
  • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
  • Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
  • Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Never use candles.

Religious candle safety
Lit candles are used in religious services, in places of worship, and in the home. Whether you are using one candle, or more than one on a candelabra, kinara, or menorah, make sure you take a few moments to learn about using candles safely.

  • Candles should be placed in a sturdy candle holder.
  • Handheld candles should not be passed from one person to another at any time.
  • When lighting candles at a candle lighting service, have the person with the unlit candle dip their candle into the flame of the lit candle.
  • Lit candles should not be placed in windows where a blind or curtain could catch fire.
  • Candles placed on, or near tables, altars, or shrines, must be watched by an adult.
  • Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • If a candle must burn continuously, be sure it is enclosed in a glass container and placed in a sink, on a metal tray, or in a deep basin filled with water.


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