Candle starts house fire as family sleeps

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A MOTHER and her four young children were able to escape safely from a house fire thanks to their smoke alarm.

Two fire crews were called to the terraced house at The Hartings, Bognor Regis, at 12.50am today after a candle left burning unattended started a fire in the living room.

The mother, in her 30s, and her four children were all asleep in bed when the candle on an oak table ignited paper and clothing nearby.

The house was fitted with two working smoke alarms which activated and alerted the woman, giving the family the time they needed to escape safely.

Crews from Bognor were on scene just minutes later and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the house to find the ground floor living room heavily smoke logged.

The fire was quickly extinguished but the living room was left damaged by fire and smoke.

Jon Etherinton, incident commander, said: ‘This incident highlights once again the importance of having a working smoke alarm in your home.

‘The family were all asleep in bed when the fire started and had their smoke alarms not alerted them, this fire could have had extremely serious consequences.’