Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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Incident Date: 26 October 2014
TWO students were taken to hospital after a fire involving a tea-light left on a bed at a flat in Manchester.
Firefighters were called to a block of flats in Hathersage Road at 11.08pm on Saturday, October 25 after reports of a fire in a second-floor flat.
When they arrived, around 15-20 people had evacuated from other flats in the building and the fire was out.
The two students – a man aged 22 and a woman aged 21 had tackled the fire using a foam extinguisher.
Four fire engines initially attended due to the property being a high-rise building but when they arrived this was reduced to one fire engine from Moss Side Fire Station.
Watch Manager Ian Melville said: “The fire had been caused by a tea-light which the girl left on the bed – she got distracted and went away and when she came back she found her bed was on fire.
“She tried to tackle the fire herself and suffered burns to her hand. The two students then used a foam extinguisher to put out the blaze.
“We wouldn’t advice anyone to try and tackle a fire themselves but it is just instinct.”
Both suffered slight smoke inhalation and were assessed at the scene by a fire service trauma technician and a paramedic before being taken to hospital.
Chair of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “It’s so easy to get distracted – whether it’s when using candles, cooking or discarding cigarettes – but this can lead to a really serious fire so it’s important to be vigilant.
“With the nights now getting darker, more and more people will be using candles but please heed our advice to minimise your risk.
“Never leave candles unattended and remember to extinguish them before going to sleep or leaving the house, make sure candles are standing up straight and are firmly fixed in a proper holder, and keep them away from flammable materials such as curtains and bedding.
“Always place candles on a heat-resistant surface – tea-lights can melt plastic surfaces such as the top of the TV and the side of a bath – and never place them under shelves or other surfaces.”
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service will be returning to the flats to carrying out a safety campaign.
For further advice about protecting yourself from a fire in your home, please visit http://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire_safety_advice/home_fire_safety.aspx
For a free Home Safety Check, which could include the fitting of smoke alarms, call 0800 555 815 or visit http://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire_safety_advice/home_fire_risk_assessments.aspx