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A knocked over candle started a small fire in a house.

Crews from Rayleigh Weir and Hawkwell attended the fire in High Road, Hockley, just after 11pm on Friday.

On arrival, fire crews found the hallway of the property was alight.

Crews extinguished the fire by 11.25pm and were able to contain the fire to the hallway, but required the use of Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV) fans to ventilate the home's ground floor, which had been completely smoke damaged.

The fire was caused by a knocked over candle, which set light to nearby coats and clothes.

Always follow the fire service's safety advice when using candles:

•Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and are away from materials that may catch fire – like curtains.

•Children should not be left alone with lit candles.

•Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night.

•Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.

•Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, but avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping.

•Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.

•Don’t move candles once they are lit.

•Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on burn time and proper use.

•Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause flaring.