A FAMILY was forced to flee their home after candles left burning caused a blaze.

Michael Saunders, 29, and Jacquelene O’Hare, 30, had to clamber to safety through a kitchen window with children Sophie, nine, and Holly, seven, in the early hours of this morning (Thursday January 3).

The family, from Spencerbeck in Middlesbrough, had gone to bed leaving tea lights burning on top of their TV.  They were later roused by smoke alarms. It is believed the candles melted the TV and set fire to a surrounding unit, causing significant damage to the living room of the property in Rosewood Close.

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Two fire crews from Grangetown dealt with the fire after arriving at the family’s home at around 4.30am. Watch manager Mark Rawden, of Grangetown fire station, said: “They had a lucky escape. Potentially it could have been a lot worse. The smoke alarm has saved their lives.”

He also urged people to be careful when using tea lights and to make sure they are held in a proper holder and are extinguished before going to bed.

Police also attended the fire and recovered a small amount of cannabis. A 29-year-old man was issued with a warning.