Candle starts fire in Mile Cross home causing extensive damage

The fire damaged landing inside the house at Appleyard Crescent, which is thought to have been start

The fire damaged landing inside the house at Appleyard Crescent, which is thought to have been started by a lit candle on the windowsill. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Neighbours rallied round to help as two separate fires broke out in Norwich homes on Wednesday.

The house at Appleyard Crescent after a fire which is thought to have been started by a lit candle o

The house at Appleyard Crescent after a fire which is thought to have been started by a lit candle on the windowsill in the upstairs landing. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

A father-of-five was taken to hospital following a blaze in his house on Appleyard Crescent, off Aylsham Road.

The man, in his late 60s, thanked his 'great' neighbours for helping to save his life.

He said: 'I simply lit a candle, put it in the window and fell asleep downstairs.

'I had intended to put it out a couple of hours later but next thing I know it's 5am and neighbours are banging at the door.'

The fire damaged landing inside the house at Appleyard Crescent, which is thought to have been start

The fire damaged landing inside the house at Appleyard Crescent, which is thought to have been started by a lit candle on the windowsill. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

The man, who did not want to be named, threw an old dressing gown over the blaze and used water to extinguish it himself.

He was helped from the house by neighbours who had alerted him to the fire, one of whom had gone in and turned the gas and electricity off.

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He said: 'I'm very grateful to my neighbours. I've got miracles on both sides. I'm very grateful to all of them - it's a great neighbourhood.'

In a separate blaze last night on Pettus Road, Eaton, a mother had to rescued from her home by fire fighters.

The fire damaged landing inside the house at Appleyard Crescent, which is thought to have been start

The fire damaged landing inside the house at Appleyard Crescent, which is thought to have been started by a lit candle on the windowsill. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

She had been using a portable cooking stove to heat up food when it exploded and caught fire. Neighbours alerted emergency services after they saw thick black smoke billowing out of the windows at about 8.40pm yesterday.

Valerie Hearle, 73, who lives next-door-but-one, called 999 after the woman's daughter raised the alarm.

She said: 'There was lots of smoke and the girl was trying to get back in as I was calling 999. She was distraught and in a terrible state.'

Knowing the mother was still in the house, Mrs Hearle's husband Duke, 75, and neighbour Don, 67, bravely ran inside to help, but were beaten back by the smoke.

The woman was later brought out by firefighters and had to be taken to hospital for further treatment.

Stuart Horth, head of community safety of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, warned about the dangers of candles and other festive lights. 'You do need to be very careful with candles. They can be dangerous. Keep them away from furnishings and curtains.

'Also be aware that if you're using tealights they can heat up the metal holders they sit in so should be put in something heat resistant.'

Steve Bond, crew manager at Earlham station, advised people not to use the outdoor cooking equipment inside their homes.