CLEARWATER — A candle started a house fire Friday morning that left the home a total loss, officials said. The fire started about 11:20 a.m. at 1993 Hyvue Drive, a single-family home near the On Top of the World retirement community.
The resident of the house was cleaning and lit a scented candle. While cleaning, he leaned a mattress against a wall and wasn't aware that it had come into contact with the candle. He tried to put the fire out but was unsuccessful. He called 911 and retreated from the house.
When firefighters arrived, smoke and flames were visible and the home's occupant was using a garden hose to try to douse the fire. It took firefighters about 20 minutes to get the blaze under control. No one was injured, although firefighters retrieved a dog and cat from the home. The dog was transported to an animal hospital for smoke inhalation.
The fire was ruled accidental.