A candle has sparked a fire that has wrecked a family home just days before Christmas.

Dewsbury firefighters were called to a house fire at St John Street at Westtown at 4pm this afternoon (Wednesday).

Two crews attended and officers wearing breathing equipment went into the terrace house in case anyone was inside.

The Examiner understands the home is occupied by a family with four young children.

Thankfully nobody was home and the family dog also escaped unharmed.

But the premises have been badly damaged and are likely to uninhabitable throughout the Christmas holidays.

A spokeperson for Dewsbury Fire Station said: “There was a tea-light in the kitchen and it caught some paper, we think a child’s homework, while the woman had gone out to collect the kids from school.

“It fell on a plastic toy, which caught fire.”

Firefighters used one hose to extinguish the kitchen fire and special fans to try and ventilate the property.

Firefighters have reminded people to put out candles if they leave their property.

Nationally, candle fires result in around 350 people being hurt every year – and nearly 40% of all fires started by candles result in a death or injury.

Top tips:

Place your candles carefully – make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books.

Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.

Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquify when heated to maximise fragrance.

Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.

Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur – practise your escape route.