House fire sparks candle warning

Firefighters at West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service are urging residents not to leave burning candles unattended after a house fire in Crawley on Tuesday night

The service is also reminding residents of the importance of having working smoke alarms - and that they are tested regularly.

The warnings come after fire crews were mobilised to deal with a fire involving a property off Brideake Close in the Bewbush area of Crawley on Tuesday night (8th June)

Joint Fire Control received the first of eight 999 calls at 7.08pm, and quickly mobilised fire engines from Crawley, Horsham and Turners Hill to the scene. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a high pressure hose reel as well as two main jets to quickly bring the fire under control.

Rob Baker-Johnson, WSFRS’s Station Manager for Incident Command Training and Assurance, was one of the officers who attended the incident. He said: “Crews established very quickly that all residents were accounted for and were safe and well outside of the property.

“Investigations suggest the fire began upstairs in the property after a candle was left burning by an open window and curtains while the family was downstairs. Unfortunately, while they had a smoke alarm fitted at the property, there weren’t any batteries in it. The first they knew of the fire was when a neighbour banged on their front door to tell them they could see smoke coming from the upstairs window.

“Had the fire broken out later at night with no-one around outside to see the fire, the outcome of this incident might have been very different.

“We recommend that every household has a working smoke alarm fitted to each floor of their property, and that it is tested at least once a week. A working smoke alarm is your best defence when a fire breaks out, ensuring you and your family have the earliest possible warning that something is wrong.”

Firefighters remained on scene into the evening last night damping down and used a thermal imaging camera to ensure there were no further hotspots, but the property suffered extensive damage to the upper floor as a result of the fire. The last crew left the scene at 10.25pm.

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