A family was told to buy a lottery ticket after proving their luck as they escaped unhurt from serious fire in their home.

The fire at the flat on St Julian’s Farm Road in West Norwood was started by a candle left unattended on top of a computer table which set fire to clothes hanging on the back of the door.

On discovering the fire on the Friday evening, May 30, the family tried to tackle it themselves using water and a dry powder extinguisher.

When that effort failed they called firefighters, prompting two fire engines and 14 crew members to attnd from West Norwood fire station.

When the London Fire Brigade (LFB) arrived the family had left the flat and crews wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire.

Mark Hazelton, Community Safety Group Manager for the LFB, said: “This could be the luckiest family in London, with such a lucky escape it might be worthwhile them buying a lottery ticket tonight.

“You should make sure candles are kept well away from anything that could catch fire like clothing, otherwise the results can be catastrophic.

"It’s also very important to put candles out when you leave the room.

“If you have a fire in your home do not try to tackle it yourself. Leave it to the professionals and remember get out, stay out and dial 999.”

The Brigade’s top three candle safety tips are:

1) Always place candles / tea lights in a fire resistant container

2) Place them a heat resistant surface, like a ceramic plate

3) Keep candles well away from items that could catch fire