Manchester

Hanukkah candles warning after Salford and Prestwich blazes

hanukkah candle in burnt room Image copyright Manchester Fire
Image caption People are urged never to leave a lit menorah or candle unattended

Firefighters have warned the Jewish community to take care with candles after two houses caught fire during Hanukkah.

The festival, usually held in November or December, is marked by lighting a candle every night for eight nights.

No-one was hurt in either blaze at homes in Prestwich and Salford, Greater Manchester Fire Service said.

But watch manager Simon Ryder said the unattended candles had caused "serious damage".

Guide: What is Hanukkah?

Image copyright Manchester Fire
Image caption Both houses were damaged by the fire and smoke

Crews were called to a house on Bishops Road, Prestwich, on Friday after a fire started in the dining room.

On arrival, it appeared the blaze was no longer burning but oil from the candle had dripped down the wall and got under the floorboards, where it had continued to burn.

Firefighters were also called on Saturday to Park Road, Salford, where the candle had set fire to paper or cardboard before spreading and causing smoke damage.

Mr Ryder said: "In both cases, what has been used is a candle substitute that looks a bit like a plastic shot glass filled with olive oil, which is then placed on the candle holder.

"However, it appears as if these could be being placed on a slight angle, so the flame was catching the plastic at the side and causing the burning fuel to drip down the side."

People are urged to place candles on sturdy surfaces, away from flammable materials like curtains, and never to leave a lit menorah unattended.

This year, Hanukkah - sometimes known as Chanukah - began on Tuesday and continues until Wednesday.

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