A fire that damaged a three-family home on Nassau Street is being blamed on unattended candles left near the couch, Charleston fire officials said.
Emergency crews were called to the structure fire at the two story triplex on Nassau Street, between Line and Columbus streets, shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday. The first fire unit was on the scene within three minutes.
Firefighters reported smoke showing from the structure and began a rapid interior fire attack, Fire Department Community Educator Ryan Kunitzer said.
Fire crews searched the home and extinguished a fire on a first-floor unit, Kunitzer said. Crews on scene reported the fire to be out at 6:13 p.m. No injuries were reported, and the American Red Cross was called to assist the residents, he said.
Investigators were able to determine the fire started near a couch in the family room of a first-floor unit, with unattended candles the likely cause, Kunitzer said.
Neighbors were alerted to the fire by interconnected smoke alarms in the units. The smoke alarms were able to quickly detect the fire and alert neighbors. With the help of these alarms the fire was contained to one room and no one was injured, Kunitzer said.
According to the United States Fire Administration, an average of 42 home candle fires are reported every day, Kunitzer said.
The Charleston Fire Department offered the following safety tips:
Consider using battery-operated or electric flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles - without the flame.
Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can catch fire.
Extinguish candles after use, before going to bed, or any prolonged absence from where the candle is located.
Keep candles, matches, and lighters out of the reach of children.
Check batteries monthly on smoke alarms. Install smoke alarms inside and outside of each sleeping area and on each level of your residence.