A MUM has been left homeless after a £2.99 wax melt burner exploded and caused a massive fire that destroyed her home.
Vikki Henvey, 33, was at a friend's BBQ when she received a text from her neighbour saying a blaze had broken out in her second-floor flat.
She found two fire engines putting out the flames which had already ripped through her two-bedroom home that she shares with her six-months-old baby daughter Tilly.
Firefighters said the wax melt burner from B&M was to blame – even though it wasn't lit at the time.
Sunlight had shone through a window, reflected off a mirror, and re-ignited an extinguished candle inside the melt holder.
It heated up and exploded – setting fire to her hallway, which spread flames through every room in her home in Kingston upon Thames, South West London.
Thankfully, nobody was hurt, and firefighters were able to carry dog Bruno from the flames, saving his life.
Vikki said: "It's just honestly been a nightmare. I can't believe it's happened. I had a wax burner in every room of the flat so it's really scary.
"I'd been at my friend's BBQ for about an hour and a half when my next door neighbour texted to say my flat was on fire and I obviously panicked because my dog was inside.
"I drove home and saw two fire engines outside with a fireman holding my dog who was literally black from the fire – he's normally a brindle colour.
"He was covered in burns but they got him out just in time – we nearly lost him.
"There was all this smoke coming out of the windows and then the firefighters took me upstairs where I saw all of the damage and I just literally broke down.
"The firefighters said that if it had happened at night then there's no way that we would have got out as the fire was by the front door and we live in a second floor flat.
"My last property got burgled and we lost everything, and now this has happened and it's like I have to start all over again once again. It's just devastating."
Vikki bought the wax melt burner for £2.99 from her local B&M store in May and used it regularly in recent weeks.
She lit the wax burner the night before to the fire for about an hour and blew out the tealight candle – which sits inside the holder and melts the wax – before going to bed.
I can't believe it's happened. I had a wax burner in every room of the flat so it's really scary
The next day, June 13, she headed out at lunchtime with baby Tilly to her friend's home for a BBQ about 15 minutes away from the flat.
She said firefighters told her they believe sunlight was reflected, relighting the tealight candle and causing the ceramic holder to overheat and explode, spreading the flames.
Vikki said: "I blow the tealight candle out whenever I leave the house. It hadn't actually been on that morning – it had been on the night before.
"A fireman said to me that they don't even have to be on – he said where they overheat over a certain amount of time, they can then actually explode.
"I've lost everything in the flat. All of the stuff that isn't fire damaged is all ruined from the smoke and fire hose. It stinks of damp up there – everything is black."
Vikki has been paying £49 a night to stay in a local Travelodge while searching for a new home for her and her family.
Vikki, who is now battling with trauma, said: "I've been having really bad nightmares, I'm waking up every night soaked in sweat.
"It's really freaked me out knowing we could have died if it had happened in the night.
"Bruno is only a baby too – he's 11 months old and now has panic attacks every evening for about two hours before he settles.
"With none of my furniture insured, we've lost everything. I never thought to insure my stuff – I just didn't think anything like this would ever happen to me."
The Essence Ceramic Oil Burner is described on the B&M website as being able to 'provide a constant and pleasant aroma at home'.
No safety instructions are listed under the product description on the website.
A B&M spokesperson, said: “We’re waiting on additional updates and the fire report from the customer in order to investigate.”
A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: "Firefighters were called to a fire at a first floor flat on Fassett Road in Kingston on Sunday 13th June.
"Part of the hallway of the flat was damaged by the blaze. Firefighters rescued one dog from the property. There were no reports of any injuries.
"The Brigade was called at 1517 and the fire was under control by 1607. Two fire engines from Surbiton and Kingston fire stations were at the scene.
"Any product for your home which uses a candle is a risk, so just like stand-alone candles, tea-lights and incense sticks, we would always advise caution when using them.
"Candles are one of the most common causes of fire, and they should never be left unattended. If you’re leaving the room and especially if you are going out or going to bed, blow them out.
"Any item which requires a candle should ensure it can be placed firmly in a heat-resistant holder and kept on a stable surface where it won’t be knocked over. You should also keep them away from flammable items such as curtains and bedding."
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