Unattended candle to blame for house fire

Nov 21, 2013

Fire investigators believe a candle left burning unattended in a bedroom sparked a fire that heavily damaged a home in unincorporated Snohomish County east of Lynnwood this morning and displaced the three adults who lived there.

Dispatchers received multiple calls just after 7:30 a.m. reporting smoke and flames coming from the single-story house in the 3500 block of 200th Pl. SW. “Flames were shooting out a front window and there was smoke coming from the back of the house when the first firefighters arrived,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1.

Five adults were inside the house at the time of the fire – the three residents and two guests. All were outside the house when firefighters arrived. Two of the residents – a man and a woman – were evaluated at the scene by paramedics for possible smoke inhalation.

More than 20 firefighters from Fire District 1 and the Lynnwood Fire Department responded and had the fire under control within 20 minutes.

The fire left the house uninhabitable. The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the fire and estimated the loss at $110,000.

The homeowner has insurance. The Red Cross and Support 7 responded to assist the residents displaced by the fire.

“With the holiday season approaching, we’d like to remind everyone to be extra cautious with candles,” Hynes said.

December is the peak time of year for home candle fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Fire District 1 offers these safety tips to avoid a candle fire:

· Consider using flameless battery-powered candles.

· Extinguish candles when you leave a room or go to bed.

· Keep lit candles well away from decorations, curtains, paper and other items that can burn.

· Use sturdy candle holders that won't tip over easily and are made from materials that cannot burn. Make sure candle holders are large enough to collect dripping wax.

· Keep lit candles away from pets and children. Children are often attracted to the flame and may not understand the danger it poses. Playful pets can knock over candles or cause them to come in contact with households items that can burn.

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