Unattended candles caused a massive blaze that destroyed a century-old apartment building in the heart of Minneapolis' Uptown neighborhood Friday morning, leaving nearly two dozen people homeless. According to a report in the Star Tribune, the fire in the three-story, eight-unit condominium broke out in a first-floor unit. Mammoth clouds of smoke still were billowing from the structure as the fire burned late into the morning. One person was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation, according to local fire officials.
According to NFPA's latest report on candle fires, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 11,640 home structure fires that were started by candles between 2006 and 2010. These fires caused 126 deaths, 953 injuries and $438 million in direct property damage.
NFPA suggests avoiding the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep. Read all of NFPA's candle safety tips and download our free safety tip sheet, as well as a free copy of the new "Home Candle Fires" report by Marty Aherns.