Candles spark fire at southwest Houston townhomes

HFD: Woman fell asleep with candles burning

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:09:49 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 30 2013 07:00:48 AM CST

Candles were to blame for a fire that destroyed two southwest Houston townhomes, firefighters said.

The fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Wind River Park complex in the 3900 block of Woodchase Drive near Westpark Drive. When fire crews arrived, two units were engulfed by flames. 

After crews put out the fire, investigators determined that the flames started in a bedroom.

"We talked to the lady and she said she left a candle on a nightstand.  The fire escalated in the attic area.  We have five different apartments that were affected by this," said Jay Evans with the Houston Fire Department.

Evans said the woman, who had just moved in the day before, fell asleep with the scented candles burning.  After the flames climbed into the attic, they spread to a neighboring apartment.

"I turned and I saw the flames pouring out of 33 and I thought, 'Oh no,'" neighbor Gregory Forsythe said.

Everyone inside the building got out safety.

Two units were destroyed. Three others had water and smoke damage, but can be repaired, officials said.

The woman said she lit the candles for the aroma and not to keep warm.