Wisbech fire which left homes “uninhabitable” was caused by knocked over candle

A FIRE spread rapidly through a row of terraced homes after a candle was taken into the loft and accidentally knocked over.

Residents in the block of four houses in West Parade, Wisbech had to be evacuated as firefighters tried to contain the fire in the loft insulation from escalating further.

Crews spent four hours tackling yesterday’s blaze after being called at 4.45pm but were unable to stop some of the homes from becoming “uninhabitable”.

Those residents have been provided with emergency housing after a victim support unit was called to the scene.

Nightclub promoter Phil Doughty and his wife Lisa, who live in one of the terraced homes and lost a huge amount of their belongings inside the house, said they were too shocked to speak about what happened.

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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.

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“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.”

Mr Barlow added that the fire service 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”.

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