A lit candle placed too close to combustible materials sparked a bedroom fire that caused more than $50,000 damage at an Edmonds home last night, according to fire investigators.
A neighbor reported the fire around 9:20 p.m. at a single-story house with a daylight basement in the 17400 block of 69th Pl. W. Five people – a couple, their two children and a teenage renter – safely exited the house. No one was injured. Two dogs and two cats escaped the fire, but one cat died.
“When they arrived, firefighters could see smoke and flames inside a basement bedroom,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1, which provides fire service in the City of Edmonds.
Fire District 1 and Lynnwood Fire Department responded and had the fire under control in about 10 minutes. “The homeowner helped limit damage by closing the bedroom door after he saw flames. That held the fire inside and firefighters were able to make a quick attack to keep the flames contained to the one room,” Hynes said.
About one third of home candle fires start in the bedroom and more than half of all candle fires start when things that burn are too close to the candle, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Fire District 1 offers these tips for candle use:
- Keep candles well away (at least 12 inches) from anything that can burn.
- Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom or other areas where people may fall asleep.
- Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily.
- Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
- Don’t burn a candle all the way down – put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
- Consider using flameless candles (powered by batteries). They look and smell like real candles.