Chinese lantern warning after stray one lands on Elsenham roof still alight

Essex fire crews

Essex fire crews

Archant

Firefighters have urged people not to use Chinese lanterns, after a close call saw one land still alight on a roof in Elsenham on New Year’s Day.

The warning came after a stray lantern sparked a huge fire in Smethwick in the Midlands.

Stansted firefighters were called at 1.45am on New Year’s Day to The Croft, in Elsenham.

Crews reported that a paper lantern had caught alight but that the fire was out on arrival so they inspected the area to ensure it was safe.

Station officer Lee Palfreyman, Colchester Station Commander, said: “These lanterns pose a real risk of starting fires.

“They might look beautiful when first they take off, but it is when they land miles from where they were lit that they become dangerous.”

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