Unattended Candle Caused Fire at “The Castle” in Hampden
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Hampden Fire Chief Michael Gorski said the cause of the December 12, 2016 fire in a large home at 48 Strafford Road in Hampden was an unattended candle. Damages to the home known in the area as “The Castle” were estimated at $700.000. There were no injuries as no one was home at the time and a dog was rescued by an off-duty firefighter.
State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and members of the Hampden Fire Department jointly investigated the fire. They determined the fire started in a second floor bedroom where a candle had been left burning unattended.
State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Ironically, this fire occurred on Candle Safety Day last year, which is always the second Monday in December.”
More Candle Fires Happen During Winter Holidays
State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Starting with Halloween, we use candles to celebrate many of the winter holidays. Sadly, the increased candle use at this time of year causes an increase in candle fires.” In the past five years, more candle fires happened between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve than any other time. “Candles should be blown out whenever you leave the room or go to sleep; and children should always be supervised, around burning candles,” he added.
Burn Candles Inside 1-Foot Circle of Safety
State Fire Marshal Ostroskey recommends that in order to reduce the risk of fire, candles should be used within a 1-foot Circle of Safety, and offers these safety tips:
- Burn candles within a one-foot circle, free of anything that can burn.
- Never leave candles burning unattended.
- Always extinguish candles after use.
- Use a non-combustible saucer or candleholder.
- Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
- Consider switching to battery-operated flameless candles.