Kent

Alert after tea light starts Folkestone flat fire

Two men had a "lucky escape" when a tea light candle caused a fire at their Kent flat while they were asleep.

Kent Fire and Rescue said the blaze started in a property on Grimston Avenue, in Folkestone, after a candle was left to burn on a plastic DVD case.

The two men woke up to the smell of smoke at about 0100 BST on Monday and activated a fire alarm.

Folkestone crew manager Andy Batchelor said: "The men were really lucky to escape unharmed."

'Serious injury'

He added: "Worryingly, they'd left about 20 tea lights dotted around the flat and they didn't have fitted working smoke alarms.

"They were really fortunate to be woken by the smell of smoke.

"Had they not, the fire could have developed, possibly causing serious injury, even death."

Mr Batchelor said: "We realise that tea lights have become increasingly popular in recent years to create a relaxing or romantic atmosphere in the home.

"However, many people are still unaware of the dangers that candles and tea lights can present.

"The flame from a candle can quickly ignite a nearby curtain or clothing if it's placed too close, or gets knocked over."

Kent Fire and Rescue Service urged people to always place candles on a heat resistant surface and to never leave them unattended or near draughts.

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