A WARNING over the use of candles during power cuts has gone out from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service after two young women suffered severe burns in a fire at Heyshott on Saturday (February 16)
In the wake of Friday’s torrential rain and gale force winds Heyshott was one of many villages across the Midhurst and Petworth area still left without power.
Midhurst firefighters were alerted shortly after 7.30am when the fire was reported at a semi detached house at Bakersfield Cottages.
The women both aged 27, were taken to Brighton hospital for treatment and one was transferred to East Grinstead Burns Unit for further specialised treatment.
Station officer Nigel Gamblen told the Observer: “The incident illustrates the need to be very, vigilant when using candles. It’s important to keep an eye on them at all times and put them out when you go to sleep.
“Luckily the occupants of this house had a smoke alarm and the girls were able to shut the door and stop the fire spreading.
“Although they suffered quite severe burns, the girls had a very, lucky escape because the fire had obviously been smouldering for some time.”
He said they were asleep in the lounge. Upstairs a man and his six year old grand son were also asleep.
“They had been burning candles which started a fire in the lounge.
“The girls woke and found it difficult to get out of the room because they were so disorientated by the smoke and heat.
“Once they managed to get into the passageway the smoke alarms went off which woke the two people upstairs and they all got out.
“Unfortunately the two girls suffered a lot of smoke inhalation and one of them had severe burns to her arms, chest and legs.”
Two fire crews from Midhurst tackled the blaze with four firefighters using breathing to fight the fire.
The lounge was completely destroyed and the remainder of the ground floor was damaged by smoke.
The six year old was taken to hospital for a check-up as a precaution.
On Saturday evening firefighters were called to another fire caused by a candle.
A small fire broke out at a house in Plaistow Road, Kirdford.
The fire in a first floor bedroom was out when firefighters arrived, one crew from Petworth and a second from Billingshurst.