York house-fire cause revealed

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

A FIRE that devastated a house in York is thought to have been started by a ceiling light, investigators have said.

David Blackwell and his wife had temporarily moved out of the £500,000 house in Tadcaster Road while building work was carried out when the fire started last month.

Thirty firefighters’ efforts to tackle the flames were hampered because the stairway in the house had been removed as part of the building work.

Now investigators looking into the cause of the blaze have said they believe downlighters in the ceiling of the first floor started the fire when fibrous material came into contact with the hotter part of the light fitting.

Trevor Lund, lead officer for the fire investigation team, said it is important to ensure downlighters are installed as according to manufacturers’ instructions and not into a combustible surface. He said he would not apportion blame for the fire.

Mr Lund said: “You need to be confident if you are using these lights that they are fitted correctly. If you can reduce the wattage by using LED lights, consider it.

“The victims of the fire will take time to recover. No-one was injured, that’s the main thing. Buildings can be rebuilt, people can’t.”

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