UPDATE: House fire started by candle in loft

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A house fire that required all the occupants of a terraced block in Wisbech to be evacuated was started by a candle that had been taken into the loft and accidentally knocked over.

The lit candle immediately set fire to the loft insulation in the West Parade house and spread rapidly in the confined space.

When fire crews arrived after the call came through at 4.45pm on Tuesday, the residents in the four-house block were all evacuated.

John Barlow, Station Manager for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The firefighters who initially went to the scene did a great job in stopping the fire from spreading to the adjoining homes.

“Fires in roof spaces of terraced homes are notoriously difficult to stop, as there is no gap between the roofs to slow the fire down.

“Thanks to the efforts of the firefighters the only roof that is damaged by fire is the roof of the house in which the fire began. The other properties have smoke damage, but are still habitable.

“We would urge people to take care with candles, to only use them on stable surfaces and to be sure not to put them near anything flammable.”

After the bulk of the fire was out, crews also used ladders to gain access to remove some of the roof tiles. This was done to ensure that there were no hot spots remaining and that the fire had not spread.

For further information on candle safety, log onto www.cambsfire.gov.uk