Firefighters hit by ‘blowtorch’ blast in house fire

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A WOMAN was taken to hospital after a blaze believed to be started by a candle ripped through her home.

Firefighters found themselves facing a so-called blowtorch effect at the property in Ince when the front window shattered, sending fire roaring towards the crews.

Fire crews were called to the semi-detached house on Lea Way just after 10pm on Friday.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the house from the back but found the fire in the front room.

The blaze caused heavy damage to the property, with the living room and kitchen affected by the fire and smoke damage throughout.

Crews tackled the flames before using a large fan to draw all the smoke out of the property and placing belongings which had been in the fire-damaged rooms on the lawn to ensure the flames were out.

Crew commander Simon Connor from Wigan fire station said: “This was a serious incidents and the house is currently uninhabitable.

“The lady inside the property was asleep at the time but luckily her smoke alarms woke her up and she was able to get out of the property.

“She said she thought the fire was in the back but on our way through the house the front window failed, creating a blowtorch effect with flames roaring towards the firefighters.

“It’s caused a lot of smoke damage but the lady also managed to stop the fire spreading by shutting all the doors. She did very well.”

The woman was taken to Wigan Infirmary suffering the effects of smoke inhalation.

Firefighters from Wigan and Atherton stations took part in the operation which lasted around two and a half hours.

The blaze is believed to have been started by a candle near the sofa and crews are now urging residents to be careful when using the popular festive decorations.

Mr Connor said: “At this time of year

a lot of people start using candles as festive decorations.

“They should be kept well away from curtains and furniture and stored in proper containers.”