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01-09-17 Candle Linked to Early Morning House Fire

The firefighters made a quick interior attack and had the fire out in minutes. The fire damage was contained to the bedroom, but the rest of the house had smoke and water damage. The dollar loss was estimated at $15,000. No injuries were reported.

An adult male was staying in the house, which did not have electrical service. A fire investigator said the man was using a candle for light. The man said he left the room briefly, and when he returned, the room was on fire. The fire investigator has ruled the cause of the fire as accidental, having been started by an unattended candle.

From 2009-2013, fire departments in the U.S. have responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage.

Fact and Figures:

During the five-year period of 2009-2013:

Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of the direct property damage in home fires.Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 32% of the associated deaths and 47% of the associated injuries.Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day. More than half (58%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.

Source: NFPA "Home Candle Fires" report (December 2015)

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