Lit candles and domestic cats can be a dangerous combination
There’s a recent story on the Internet about a fire in a duplex in Cincinnati (published on cincinnati.com). Several cats died in this fire. The total death toll is not known. Six apartments had to be vacated as the fire spread from the second to the third floor. Firefighters needed a second crew to help put out the fire.
Fire officials decided that a cat had knocked over a lit candle in a rear bedroom on the second floor and therefore the fire was accidental. This is not the first time that I have read about a cat knocking over a candle causing a devastating fire.
You can’t blame the cat but it does or should make people think twice about lighting candles in homes where there are cats. The danger is clearly made worse when there are several cats in the home.
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I will speculate and say that it may have happened when two cats were playing or roughhousing. Update: I have learned (Yahoo News) that the apartment caught fire at about 12:06 a.m. after a cat knocked a candle off a windowsill and onto a bed (Chief Fire Officer Warren Weems).
Although I am unsure how accurate the firefighters are in their assessment. How do they know that a cat knocked over a lit candle? Perhaps the candle just fell over but nonetheless it is foreseeable to a certain extent that where you have a candle or candles which are lit in a home where there’s more than one cat there must be a potential for an accident like the one described in Cincinnati.
The firefighters also assessed that the fire took hold at or after midnight. Perhaps the owner of the apartment was asleep at the time. This would have allowed the fire to take hold. Perhaps they forgot to put the candles out. I am speculating wildly and it is the kind of accident that can easily happen but I think this story should be a warning to people who like candles and cats.