‘Lights out’ warning after fire

Tree damaged by Chinese lantern
Tree damaged by Chinese lantern
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AN Upwell householder is warning of the dangers of Chinese lanterns after one landed in his fledgling woodland and burned a tree.

Matthew Leet of Stonehouse Road, sent in these pictures of the tree in his woodland to highlight the potential problems the celebration lights can cause if they fail to extinguish before falling to the ground.

Tree damaged by Chinese lantern

Tree damaged by Chinese lantern

Mr Leet said the lantern landed on the tree burning its protective wrap before finally going out.

Part of the lantern remains in the tree the rest is on the grass around the bottom.

Mr Leet said: “Although from my point of view this is unfortunate, the shelter is melted and the tree may not survive its ordeal, the real reason is to highlight (no pun intended) what can happen.

“If the lantern had descended on a more urban area or indeed a more flammable object the results could have been far more severe.

“I assume the intention is that they burn out in flight then descend? But be aware, they do not.”

The lanterns are regularly released into the night skies over Fenland by people celebrating various occasions and have often been mistaken for UFOs.

In November there was speculation that a fire in the roof of a house in Paston, Peterborough had been caused by a Chinese lantern.

Investigations later revealed it had been caused by faulty electrics.

At the time Dave Warren, Head of Community Prevention said: “After the fire there was some speculation that this incident may have been caused by a Chinese lantern. We can now confirm this was not the cause of the fire.

“However, we would strongly advise the public not to celebrate events with Chinese lanterns, as they do present a fire risk to both buildings and crops, and are an environmental hazard to wildlife and livestock.”