A Carndonagh pensioner had a narrow escape recently when a blessed candle she had lit to pray for a friend nearly caused a fire!
Last year two members of Carndonagh Fire Brigade installed smoke detectors in the home of Ms Mary Canny. As it turns out they were successful in notifying Ms Canny of a fire which was trying to catch hold allowing swift intervention to extinguish the danger.
Ms Canny lives alone in a rurally isolated area. The week after the smoke alarm was installed in her home, she lit a blessed candle to pray for a friend and had left it burning on the bedroom window sill and forgot about it.
After a while the smoke alarm sounded and reminded her of the candle. At this stage the candle had begun to burn into the sill. The danger was heightened by the fact there were fabric blinds and curtains on the window which was beside her bed.
Ms Canny acknowledges that the sound of the alarm reminded her of the burning candle and quick intervention limited the damage that could have been done. While she still prays for people in need, she doesn’t leave burning candles unattended. In fact is considering buying modern battery operated candle instead. She remains grateful to local fire and hospital staff for installation of smoke alarm and yearly updates on household fire safety.
Since 2008 Donegal County Council has targeted vulnerable members of the community and has provided more than 2000 homes with smoke detectors since then. This initiative was done in conjunction with Donegal County Council’s Community & Enterprise section and in some cases directly by the Fire Service as research has shown that having a working smoke alarm can reduce the risk of fire death by 50%