A FAMILY have been left homeless after an unattended candle caused a house fire in Walton.

Crews from Clacton and Frinton were called to the property in High Street at about 10.25am on Thursday after the residents heard their smoke alarms going off.

On arrival, crews reported that there was a fire in the living room of the semi-detached house.

The ground floor of the house was heavily smoke logged and the living room was well alight.

Crews worked to extinguish the blaze by 11.45am.

The fire was caused after a candle, which had been left unattended, caught alight when an object fell on it.

Crew manager Nick Singleton, from Frinton Fire Station, said the residents have been rendered homeless due to the fire damage in the living room and smoke damage in the rest of the house.

“Please make sure that when using candles, you don’t leave them unattended," he added.

"If you need to leave the room, blow the candle out properly first.

“I’d like to highlight the importance of having a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, the residents in this incident were able to act quickly because they had working smoke alarms.

"As soon as they heard them going off, they got out of the house, stayed out and called the fire service out.

"Test your smoke alarms today and each week to ensure you and your family get an early warning sign of fire.”

Essex County Fire ans Rescue Service said incidents like this show how important it is to take extra care when using candles.

People are advised to make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and are away from materials that may catch fire, such as curtains.

A spokesman added: "Children should not be left alone with lit candles.

"Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.

"Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, but avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping.

"Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning.

"Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.

"Don’t move candles once they are lit.

"Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on burn time and proper use.

"Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause flaring."