Bolton birthday reveller left homeless for Christmas as candle fire destroys flat

A Bolton man has been left homeless just six days before Christmas after a single candle placed on top of a TV destroyed his top floor flat.

The 44-year-old man was asleep in the bedroom of his third-floor residence when he was woken by his smoke alarm in the early hours of this morning.

He fortunately managed to flee the building on Haydock Street before firefighters from Bolton Central and Bolton North arrived just before 5am.

Watch Manager Karsten Boyle said: “The man was celebrating his birthday and had placed a tea-light candle on top of the TV and then fallen asleep.
“The candle melted and burned through TV and set fire to the curtains.”
The man suffered slight effects of smoke inhalation but wasn’t seriously injured.

Crew in breathing apparatus went into the three-storey building and tackled the fire on the top floor using a hose reel, a positive pressure fan and a thermal imaging camera.

Councillor David Acton, Chair of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority said: “This could have been a far more devastating incident.

“This man is so lucky that he had a working smoke alarm that woke him from his sleep and potentially saved his life.

“There have been a number of fires caused by candles over the past couple of weeks and it’s a miracle that nobody has been seriously injured.”

The incident is the latest in a series of candle related fires in Greater Manchester over the past few weeks.

In the early hours of last Thursday, two people were left homeless after a candle fire in Moss Side destroyed the roof of two terraced properties.

“Can I remind people again never to put candles on top of a TV or bathtub and to ensure they are fully extinguished before going to bed,” Councillor Acton said.

“We want people to have a happy Christmas and at this time of year lots of people are using candles – but please ensure it’s a Christmas to remember for the right reasons by taking extra care with candles and ensuring you have a working smoke alarm.”

You can find further information and advice about candle safety on the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service website by clicking here.

Image courtesy of Smabs Sputzer, with thanks.

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