Candle for Madeleine McCann sparks flat fire

A FIRE which swept through a fourth floor flat in Weston is believed to have been caused by a candle lit by a kind-hearted elderly

A FIRE which swept through a fourth floor flat in Weston is believed to have been caused by a candle lit by a kind-hearted elderly woman for missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann.Over 20 firefighters arrived at the scene at Madeira Court in Knightstone Road at around 11am on Tuesday (May 22) and battled the blaze in flat 53, occupied by an elderly lady, believed to be Mary Luckham.Jean Lester, of Westbury-on-Trym, was visiting her aunt in the neighbouring flat at the time the fire broke out. She said: "I came out of my aunt's flat and saw Mary in the corridor. She was very distressed."Smoke was billowing out of her door and she asked me if I could get some water because her curtains were on fire. When I saw how bad it was I said 'no, get out and close the door'."She told me that she had lit a candle for the missing girl, Madeleine, and placed a note by it in the hope it would help her safe return." Mary was taken to an ambulance for health checks by a paramedic and returned to the building shortly after.Pete Coombs, a spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue, said at the scene: "We believe the blaze was started by a candle in the kitchen which set fire to the curtains. The biggest problem was getting water to the fourth floor so we used the boom arm of a fire engine to pump water in through the window on to the fire before crews gained entry to the flat."We also sent crews to look after and reassure some of the disabled residents in the building."After entering the flat, around 10 firefighters wearing breathing apparatus brought the blaze under control.One firefighter at the scene said: "The fire was pretty intense. It was so hot it melted the front of a colleague's helmet."Residents in the five storey sheltered housing building were quickly evacuated after the fire alarms went off.


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