HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Firefighters extinguished flames started by a citronella candle Monday before the flames could do too much damage to a home.
The fire happened around 2:30 p.m. at a home on the 6700 block of Tanners Creek Drive in Huntersville. Officials say the candle, on a plastic table on the back patio, started the fire, which spread up the back side of the home.
Firefighters helped extinguish the flames before they reached the attic space of the home, and are now informing other homeowners of how to best handle this type of candle.
"That oil when it gets heated to a certain point…it hits its flash point and can catch on fire," Bill Suthard of the Huntersville Fire Department said.
An unattended citronella candle or torch, fire responders say, can turn into a very large problem. The oil catches fire itself and spreads to whatever is nearby.
Luckily for Monday's homeowner, she said that an unknown neighbor spotted the flames first, and thought quickly, grabbing a nearby hose.
"That's what led to the extinguishing of that fire," Suthard said.
Suthard adds that there are many safety tips to keep in mind for citronella flames. These include always placing them on a non-flammable surface like concrete or brick, keeping them 10 to 15 feet away from anything that might catch fire, and not getting into the habit of using water to put them out.
"It could just spread the fire," Suthard said. "Just like a grease fire in your kitchen."
There is no word on damage estimates at the home on Tanners Creek Drive. The homeowner says she is now searching to find out which of her neighbors was the one to rush to extinguish the flames so she can say thank you.