Fire chiefs warn of unattended incense sticks burning after two fires within an hour - including one at Soham

PUBLISHED: 21:37 11 May 2019 | UPDATED: 21:37 11 May 2019

Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service have issued a warning to homeowners after they were called to a house fire in The Causeway, Soham, that was caused by unattended incense sticks, Picture: CAMBS FIRE.

Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service have issued a warning to homeowners after they were called to a house fire in The Causeway, Soham, that was caused by unattended incense sticks, Picture: CAMBS FIRE.

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Fire chiefs warned against the risk of leaving unattended incense sticks after they were involved in two separate fires - including one at Soham - within the space of an hour.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue attended a house fire in Keyston in Huntingdonshire on the morning of April 30, while less than an hour later crews were called to similar fire in Soham.

A fire service spokesman said: "These fires were both started by incense sticks that had been left unattended. Lighting incense is a common and popular way of spreading aromatic scents around the house.

"However residents often overlook the risk they can pose if left unattended, particularly if close to curtains or by a window.

"House fires from incense sticks initially ignite when hot ash falls directly on to carpet or flammable surfaces."

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The spokesman said: "Incense and candles can be dangerous if left unattended, so always ensure they are placed in a draught-free area, well away from curtains, furniture or other flammable surfaces. Make sure you leave plenty of space around the area and ensure that the surface is flat and stable. Taking the necessary precautions can help protect your family, property and belongings."

The Soham fire needed one crew from Ely and two crews from Newmarket to tackle the blaze in a house on The Causeway, Soham.

On arrival, firefighters found curtains alight inside the house. Wearing breathing apparatus they extinguished the fire using one hose reel, before using a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the smoke.

The cause of the fire was accidental.

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