Chinese lantern causes large fire in Kirkcaldy

Group manager Alex Smart has warned against the dangers of chinese lanterns after a fire was caused on Monday night
Group manager Alex Smart has warned against the dangers of chinese lanterns after a fire was caused on Monday night

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was called to a fire in Chestnut Avenue, Kirkcaldy on Monday night (October 12), which was caused by a chinese lantern.

Thornton Operations Control mobilised a crew at 10.12pm to the scene and on arrival they discovered an industrial trailer full of wheelie bins well alight.

The incident faced by our colleagues in Kirkcaldy shows the potential these floating candle kites have to cause massive damage and endanger life.

Alex Smart, group manager, said: “Fires can have a devastating effect on local communities and although chinese lanterns can look spectacular, once airborne they cannot be controlled. The incident faced by our colleagues in Kirkcaldy shows the potential these floating candle kites have to cause massive damage and endanger life.

“We discourage their use and ask people to consider the potential consequences, but we know that they are popular and urge anyone who is determined to use them to take some basic steps to lower the risk.

“If you decide to use chinese lanterns, we would advise to avoid doing so in built up areas to avoid the obvious dangers as highlighted on Monday night.

“You should also consider avoiding prolonged dry or windy conditions, or in areas where there are standing crops. People should also be aware they could be confused with distress flares in coastal areas.

“In addition to their crops, farmers also have concerns to the safety of their livestock as animals may ingest or become caught in the remnants.

“Fire and rescue services regard chinese lanterns as a potential fire risk and, as we ask for the public’s help in protecting Scotland from fire, we urge anyone thinking of using them to ask themselves if there isn’t a better way to celebrate.”