Bedroom candle to blame for East Henrico house fire

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – Firefighters say a candle burning in a bedroom sparked a small fire at an East End home Sunday night.

Crews were called to AP Hill Avenue off of Nine Mile Road in Highland Springs around 10:30 p.m.

“First arriving units found fire coming from a bedroom of the two-story house. All occupants were able to make it out the home uninjured. The family was woken by the smell of smoke in the home,” Capt. Daniel E. Rosenbaum with Henrico fire said in a news release.

First arriving units spotted fire in a bedroom at the back corner of the house. Crews, who were able to extinguish the fire quickly and contain the damage to the bedroom, marked the fire under control at 10:52 p.m.

“The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental in nature and started in the bedroom of the house,” Rosenbaum said. “A lit candle in the bedroom that was knocked over is believed to have caused the fire.”

Officials said that the fire displaced three adults. The American Red Cross is assisting the family.

No one was injured.

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Candle safety tips from Henrcio County Division of Fire:

Candles may be pretty to look at but they are a cause of home fires and home fire deaths. According to a National Fire Protection Agency, from 2006-2010, U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated 11,640 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 126 deaths, 953 injuries and $438 million in direct property damage. Roughly one-third of home candle fires started in bedrooms, falling asleep were a factor but most fires resulted 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. Remember, a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn.

Here are some safety tips to live by:
• Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bed-room 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.