Chanukah candles ‘probably’ caused student fire

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Chanukah candles ‘probably’ caused student fire

A fire that blazed through the student halls at Birmingham’s Hillel House last week was “probably caused by Chanukah candles”, writes Zak Bentley.

Chanukah blaze: Fire takes hold of a section of Birmingham's Hillel House.
Chanukah blaze: Fire takes hold of a section of Birmingham’s Hillel House.

The building, which houses more than 40 residents, did not suffer structural damage and there were no injuries.

A statement from Birmingham Hillel House said the fire was “probably caused by Chanukah candles and required the assistance of the fire brigade and other emergency services. Due to the quick thinking and responsible actions of two particular students, the building was evacuated and everyone accounted for”.

The statement added: “Hillel is equipped with a good fire alarm system, which worked and the damage is contained to one room at the front of the house, which will be renovated as soon as possible.”

The two students were able to weaken the damage caused by using fire extinguishers before the fire crew arrived within minutes of being called.

One resident told the Jewish News: “”It was with thanks to Hillel that we all knew what to do and the fire drills and safety talks given to us by Hillel helped keep the majority of us calm and all of us safe.”

Strict measures were put in place for the remainder of Chanukah at Hillel to maintain candle safety.

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