Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 16:39 UK

Power cut family flee candle fire

A mother and four children have escaped a fire in Dartford caused by a candle used during a widespread power cut.

Kent Fire and Rescue said the family were upstairs when the blaze spread through the house in Attlee Drive.

The fire on Tuesday night is believed to have been caused by a candle left on a table downstairs, which then fell over and set light to an armchair.

Watch manager Craig Lloyd-Cowtan said the family had a lucky escape, mainly due to a neighbour raising the alarm.

Vandalism attack

"This is an unfortunate incident and highlights the dangers of leaving candles unattended," Mr Lloyd-Cowtan said.

"The consequences could have been a lot more serious, as the smoke alarm in the property had no battery in it."

The family have been temporarily re-housed by the Red Cross due to smoke damage to their home.

More than 10,000 properties in south-east London and Kent are still without electricity, three days after a vandalism attack to power cables in Dartford.

A total of about 94,000 customers in Dartford, Crayford, Bexleyheath, Erith and Orpington were affected.

EDF Energy said it hoped to have power fully restored by Thursday morning.

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