Victim named as fire service reveals fatal Leeds flat blaze was started by candle

The flat was left badly damaged in the incident
The flat was left badly damaged in the incident
Have your say

A fire which claimed the life of a 49-year-old woman in Leeds is thought to have been started by a candle.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued a safety warning to people following the death of Lorraine Darwin in East Ardsley on Sunday.

It is thought the blaze, on Greenwood Road, started after a tea light was knocked over.

Ian Bitcon, the brigade’s area safety manager, said: “This was a tragic incident and our condolences go out to family and friends.

“This case highlights the dangers of tea lights or candles and we hope others will take extra care whilst using them.

“Candles can seem like a good way to create a relaxing or romantic atmosphere and as tea lights have a metal base people can be under the impression that they can be placed directly onto any surface.

“However, they must both always be used in an appropriate holder and should never be put directly onto a combustible surface. The metal base of a tealight can reach incredibly high temperatures and conduct


“This is hot enough to melt plastic, for example, if placed on top of a TV or around a bath. If this ignites a substantial fire can quickly develop and spread to the rest of the room.

“Whilst it may well be obvious, it shouldn’t be forgotten that candles and tea lights are naked flames and can easily set fire to all manner of things in the home, which is why they shouldn’t be left unattended.”