Candle starts fire in Oran home

Saturday, August 14, 2004

ORAN, Mo. -- A fire started by a smoldering candle did minor damage to a house in Oran Friday evening.

According to fire chief Jim Watkins, the occupants of the house, Bob Murray and his wife, had been away for about three hours, and returned to find their sunroom on fire. A large citronella candle meant to repel mosquitos had apparently ignited, Watkins said. The plastic table and chairs in the room melted, and the windows were blackened. The fire was confined to the sunroom.

Watkins said the Murrays extinguished the candle Thursday night, but that large citronella candles with thick wicks are easily reignited. The candle apparently had smoldered all night and throughout the day. The hot wax, dust and debris in the candle apparently acted as a wick and set the candle aflame.

No one was injured, but a hamster died. Another hamster survived.

Firefighters from Oran, Delta and Perkins were called to respond.

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