Wigan house wrecked by fire after candle falls over in bedroom
A Wigan house has been badly damaged by a massive fire started when a candle toppled over in a bedroom and set curtains and bedding alight.
The upstairs floor of the terraced property on Barnsley Street was completely gutted by the flames while thick black smoke spread to neighbouring properties.
A total of 15 firefighters tackled the blaze in an incident which went on for four hours on Sunday evening.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus tackled the fierce flames, which were visible as soon as they entered the house.
Residents living nearby had to evacuate while the fire was put out but the emergency services later allowed them back into their homes.
Fortunately no-one was injured.
Watch manager Gary Mercer from Wigan fire station said: "We could see the fire from the bottom of the stairs. The whole of the upper floor was engulfed in flames.
"The heat was so intense it blew the plaster off the walls.
"The bedroom and landing have been completely destroyed. We had to get rid of all the debris from the upper floor."
After the flames were out the fire crews from Wigan, Hindley and Atherton stations used a large fan to clear all the smoke out of the properties affected.
Emergency services were called at around 8.30pm on Sunday and the firefighters remained at the scene until after midnight.
With candles a popular choice of decoration in the borough's homes for the festive season and the winter months fire crews are now urging people to use them safely.
The fire service also reminded residents of the importance of having working smoke alarms to alert them to the early stages of a fire.