Fatal Orlando house fire caused by unattended candle, officials say

Investigators say there was no working smoke alarm inside home on Lescot Lane

By Jennifer Ortega - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Officials with the Orlando Fire Department said a fire on Lescot Lane started from a candle that was left unattended, something the Orlando fire chief said happens too often.

"Unfortunately, for some of the recent ones, it's been an unattended candle," District Fire Chief Walter Lewis said.

Lewis said the fire on Lescot Lane started after a candle was left burning on the floor on the back porch. The fire extended into the attic and then the rest of the home.

"Once it starts, it's hard to control. People don't understand how fast it can spread," Lewis said.

Officials said a 9-year-old girl was killed in the fire. Her grandmother, who ran back inside to try and save her, suffered severe burns and died several days later.

Investigators said there was no working smoke alarm inside the home.

"In that area where the fire occurred on Lescot Lane, there were quite a few homes discovered to not have smoke detectors," Lewis said.

Since the fire, the chief said, firefighters found 34 out of 80 homes in the area that didn't have smoke detectors and have helped residents install them.

"It''s not the fire that kills. It's the smoke," he said. "So the faster you get out of the house, the greater the chance you have for survival."

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up.

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