Berkshire

Reading house gutted by Christmas tree candle fire

House gutted by Christmas tree fire Image copyright Rbfrs
Image caption The fire quickly spread throughout the house, destroying the ground and first floors

A house in Reading was gutted by fire after a candle fell off a Christmas tree and set it alight.

The three-storey detached house in Green Road was ablaze when fire crews arrived at the property at about 21:00 GMT on Tuesday.

The family inside fled to safety but a woman needed to have oxygen administered by firefighters.

Station manager Steve Beard said: "The family were incredibly lucky to escape without serious injuries."

The fir tree had been in the living room and was decorated with lit candles.

'Devastating damage'

After a candle fell off and set the tree alight the fire quickly spread throughout the house, destroying the ground and first floors.

Mr Beard, from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We all like to decorate our homes to make them look festive at this time of year but it is essential to remember that, although they look pretty, candles are still naked flames and must be used with caution.

"Once they have been cut down, Christmas trees become very dry and therefore can catch fire extremely easily.

"Candles and Christmas trees do not mix - as this incident shows, fire can spread incredibly quickly and cause devastating damage."

Image copyright Rbfrs
Image caption The fire was caused by a fir tree which rapidly caught fire after a candle decoration fell over

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