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Warning over fires caused by Chanukah candles

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said it attended two fires this weekend caused by menorah candles

    People celebrating Chanukah have been warned to take care with menorah candles after two fires were caused by unattended candles.

    Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said it attended two fires this weekend caused by menorah candles, which have caused severe damage to the homes involved.

    Simon Ryder, watch manager, from Broughton Fire Station, said in both incidents “the residents have left the menorah candles burning and left their homes only to return to serious damage.

    “What has been used is a candle substitute that looks a bit like a plastic shot glass filled with olive oil which is then placed on the candle holder.

    “However, it appears as if these could be being placed at a slight angle so the flame is catching the plastic at the side and causing the burning fuel to drip down the side.”

    Firefighters were called to Bishops Road, Prestwich, at 8pm on Friday after a fire started in the dining room.

    Mr Ryder said that when crews arrived it looked like the fire was out, but on closer inspection the oil from the candle had dripped down the wall and got under the floorboards where it had continued to burn.

    The second fire took place on Saturday.

    Firefighters were called to a house in Salford, where the candle had set fire to a piece of paper and spread, causing severe fire damage to the dining room and had caused smoke damage throughout.

    Mr Ryder continued: “Unfortunately on both occasions the inner doors were not closed, so the rest of the house suffered smoke damage and in the Bishops Road incident there was a thick layer of black soot covering everything inside.

    “I would urge people to take great care with candles, ensure they are placed in a sturdy holder away from flammable materials and never leave them unattended.

    “When leaving the house or going to bed close internal doors and make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your property.”

    Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said it would be visiting homes in both areas to remind people about safety.

    Ben Levy, group manager for Salford and Trafford, said the visits would “ensure we don’t see any further incidents like this and we will also be linking in with partner agencies and with our local Jewish community.

    “Luckily nobody was injured but the families involved now have to face the devastation of not being able to return to their homes during what should be a special time of celebration with loved ones. We want to wish everyone a happy and safe Chanukah.”

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