Sherman house fire caused by lit candle

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SHERMAN, TEXAS -- The U.S. Fire Administration says that more than 15,000 house fires each year are caused by candles.

This morning in Sherman, one woman's home became one of those statistics.

Sharla Campione says she was getting ready for the day: picking out clothes, brushing her teeth and lighting a candle.

"It was a big new candle, glass and I had it on a safety coaster. Nothing above it. And that's where the fire started," Campione said.

She says the house in the 200 block of North Cleveland doesn't have a fire alarm, so she didn't realize how big the fire was until she stepped outside.

"There was no electricity and then all the smoke," Campione said.

"On arrival, firefighters found that the fire had already vented through the roof of the structure," Sherman Fire Chief Jeff Jones said.

Neighbors and friends gathered across the street to comfort Sharla. One, in particular, was especially shaken by the fire.

"I asked all my family and friends to pray for them because I know what it's like to sit there and watch your house burn down and have nothing left. When I was a kid, I sat outside with my parents and watched my house burn so I know how it hurts," neighbor Tierney Mundine said.

Sharla says she still can't shake the nerves.

"I didn't know until it was too late. Shooting flames from the bedroom. And the smoke," Campione said.

The U.S. Fire Administration suggests placing candles in sturdy holders, keeping them away from kids and pets and never leaving them unattended.

Halloween is one of the top five days for house candle fires, so keep that in mind now that it's October.

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