Six Hospitalised After Earlsfield Candle Fire

Including two children and a heavily pregnant woman

Six people – including two young children and a heavily pregnant woman – have been taken to hospital following a fire in a flat on Earlsfield Road in Wandsworth last night.

The fire broke out in the downstairs flat of a converted terrace house, and caused significant damage to a bedroom. The two occupants of the flat, along with a young family living in the flat above, escaped before firefighters arrived, and all six were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire is believed to have been caused by a candle left on a bedside table, which set fire to bedding. The property had smoke alarms but they didn’t work as the batteries had been taken out.

Watch Manager Andy Wildsmith, from Wandsworth fire station, who was at the scene, said: “Candles can be lovely, but you should always keep them well away from anything that can catch fire, such as bedding or curtains. Never leave them unattended, and always blow them out when you leave the room – especially before going to bed. Smoke alarms are really worth having but they won’t help unless they are working, so make sure you test them regularly and replace any batteries immediately. Most smoke alarms will start beeping to warn you if the batteries are getting low.

“We believe the couple in the affected flat tried to fight the fire themselves with buckets of water. Trying to fight a fire yourself is very dangerous and can lead to the fire getting bigger. We always recommend you get out, stay out, and dial 999, as we have the proper equipment and training to put a fire out safely.”

Four fire engines attended the blaze from Wandsworth, Battersea, and Wimbledon fire stations. The Brigade was called at 20:54 and the fire was under control at 21:55.

Following the fire, firefighters gave a number of home fire safety visits to neighbours, installing free smoke alarms and talking to them about fire safety. If you would like a home fire safety visit, visit the London Fire Brigade website and you request one

For more information on enjoying candles safely, check out

May 17, 2013