Local News

Candle Fires On Rise In Raleigh, Nationwide

Posted October 7, 2005 6:58 a.m. EDT

— Candles make for nice home decor, but they can also be the perfect fire starter. Candle fires are on the rise nationwide, and in Raleigh, the disturbing trend has firefighters taking notice.

Two years ago, a home on Western Boulevard in Raleigh was swallowed in flames, all because of a candle. Last December, Paul Moore was the unsuspecting victim of a candle fire.

"I got up and it was all foggy and everything," Moore said.

Authorities say a candle caused a fire in the apartment above Moore's. As a result, the apartment complex caught on fire.

"There was smoke coming off the roof of the building and I knew something was wrong, something had to be wrong," said Moore.

Jan Parker, of the Raleigh Fire Department, said it is part of a growing trend.

"Over the past several years we have been seeing more candle fires in the home," she said.

Candle fires are occurring at an alarming rate in Raleigh. Since the start of 2003, fire officials have blamed 27 fires on candles.

The trend is also nationwide. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the number of candle fires has more than tripled since 1990 with 18,000 fires in 2002 that resulted in 130 deaths.

According to the statistics, most candle fires start in the bedroom. That's also where the most fatal fires occur. And December is the worst month with almost twice the number of candle fires.