At 1:47am St Stephens Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire and arrived to find heavy fire showing throughout the entire mobile home. Due to the heavy fire showing and the lack of stability of the structure, fire department personnel made a defensive attack on the fire. Oxford and Conover Fire assisted by covering the St. Stephens Fire district for additional calls. The Catawba County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to assist with the investigation. The fire was extinguished with a 50 minute control time. It was confirmed that all occupants were out of the structure. The structure and its contents were a total loss. After the investigation, it was determined that the cause of the fire was accidental and due to unattended candles near combustibles. It was confirmed that there were several candles throughout the mobile home left unattended. There were no occupants in the residence at the time of the fire. St. Stephens Fire Department had a response time of 2 minutes and responded with 3 apparatus and 15 firefighters. Fire personnel were on the scene for just over two hours due to an extensive overhaul to prevent rekindles.
*** Remember; never leave a fire of any kind unattended especially those fires with an open flame. Keep all combustible material clear of candles or any other type of fire. If using candles, place the candles on a non combustible surface. It is not recommended to use candles with an open flame for a light source. The recommendations are to use the battery powered candles or keep fresh batteries and flashlights available for a light source in case of an emergency.