Metro-East News

Citronella candle causes fire, ‘significant’ damage at O’Fallon home, chief says

A citronella candle started a fire Friday that caused a “significant amount of damage” to an O’Fallon home, the fire chief said.

The candle was being used outside too close to the house in the 200 block of East Third Street, O’Fallon Fire Chief Brad White said at the scene. Because of the wind Friday, it started a fire under the vinyl siding of the house that spread to the attic.

“The fire took the entire attic,” White said. “We pulled all the ceiling down inside on the second floor.”

There were no injuries, according to White.

The fire was contained within about half an hour. White said firefighters responded at 11:23 a.m. and considered the scene under control by 11:56 a.m. The O’Fallon department received mutual aid from Lebanon and Fairview Heights departments. Scott Air Force Base covered O’Fallon’s fire station while they extinguished the house fire.

White said homeowners should keep open flames at least 15 feet away from their houses and be aware of wind that could carry sparks, embers or burning debris to start fires in their home or their neighbors’ homes.

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The metro-east is home for investigative reporter Lexi Cortes. She was raised in Granite City, went to school in Edwardsville and now lives in Collinsville. Lexi has worked at the Belleville News-Democrat since 2014, winning multiple state awards for her investigative and community service reporting.
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