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Valley Springs House Fire Blamed On Candle

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Valley Springs, CA – A residential fire in Valley Springs is being blamed on an unattended candle, and fire officials say it is a good wake-up call as the holiday season approaches.

A residential fire alarm brought Calaveras Consolidated Fire Department (CCFD) engines to a home in Valley Springs on Monday (10/16) morning. No one was inside the home when the flames ignited, but luckily the neighbor had a key to get inside. Once on scene, firefighters singled out a candle on a shelf that had wax melting down it, as seen in the image box photo, as the cause of the blaze.

Self with wax dripping from unattended candle -- CCFD photo
CCFD photo

“Calaveras Consolidated Firefighters want to remind everyone that whether you’re using candles to mark special events or create a charming atmosphere in your home, always remember that open flames are potential fire hazards,” stated fire officials.

As we head into the holiday season, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that the careless use of candles causes nearly 10,000 residential fires each year.

CCFD provides these candle fire safety tips: 

Candle Fire Safety Do’s:

  1. Burn candles in well-ventilated rooms.
  2. Keep candles at least one foot away from flammable objects, such as furniture, curtains, paper, plants, or electronics.
  3. Burn candles in sturdy candle holders and place them on horizontal, stable, and heat-resistant surfaces.
  4. Keep lit candles at least three inches apart to ensure that they don’t melt one another.
  5. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

Always supervise rooms with lit candles; blow them out if you leave the room or go to bed.

  1. Consider replacing burning candles with battery-operated flameless candles in your home. Most electrical candles look and smell like real candles.

Candle Fire Safety Don’ts:

  1. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room where air exchange is limited.
  2. Don’t burn candles in rooms with vents, drafts, fans, or air currents to avoid rapid, uneven burning, flame flare-ups, and soot formation.
  3. Don’t use candles in bedrooms or other sleeping areas. Statistically, most fires started by candles occur in the bedroom.
  4. Avoid burning candles all the way down — put out candles when there are at least two inches of wax left or ½ inch if they are in a container.
  5. Don’t move candles when they’re burning since wax can drip and cause injuries. Extinguish candles before moving them.
  6. Avoid using candles during a power outage. Using or handling candles in the dark increases the risk of fire or injuries. Use flashlights and battery-powered lighting instead.
  7. Never use water to put out a candle to prevent hot wax from splashing. Use a candle snuffer to safely extinguish candles.