Citronella candle sparks Huntersville house fire

- A Citronella candle is responsible for starting a fire that melted the back of a home Monday in Huntersville, fire officials say. App users click here.

A quiet Labor Day along Tanners Creek Drive in Huntersville turned upside down around 2:00 p.m. when the back of a home burst into flames. Firefighters say the cause was a Citronella candle left on top of a now melted plastic table.

Huntersville Fire

Photo: Huntersville Fire

It's unclear what caught first, but pictures tweeted by Huntersville Fire show the table scorched along with the back siding of the house burnt and melted off. 

"What it looks like is it either got knocked over or the oil itself caught on fire. The table was also near the house which had vinyl siding which lead to the fire growth. We always recommend citronella candles are used on a masonry material," said Suthard.

Most of us probably have citronella candles sitting on our back patio. Firefighters say what makes them so dangerous is when they burn the wax turns into oil, which is very flammable. In fact on the back of most citronella candles is a warning telling people not to put out the flame with water.

"What it does is spread the oil and oil sits on top of water. So you are essential spreading the fire," said Suthard.

Huntersville Fire

Photo: Huntersville Fire

Fortunately, firefighters say they were able to control the blaze before it reached attic spaces.

Huntersville Fire

Photo: Huntersville Fire

No one was hurt, but the homeowners have plenty to clean up before their next barbecue.They say they'll no longer be using citronella candles, advice that is also followed by firefighters.



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