Lake Oswego Fire Department officials are cautioning residents about the hazards of unattended candles after a residential fire on Juarez Street in Lake Oswego caused nearly $40,000 in damage on Halloween.

The blaze was reported shortly before midnight Nov. 1. Firefighters first on the scene found a large two-story house with visible smoke showing from the front. The homeowner was outside trying to extinguish the front porch with a garden hose.

Firefighters entered the house and discovered fire leading from the front door to the rear kitchen and heavy smoke pouring through the attic eaves. The blaze was quickly extinguished.

Fire investigator Gert Zoutendijk determined the cause of the fire was burning candles left unattended among Halloween decorations. The estimated loss to property and contents is $37,500.

As a result, fire officials are reminding those who burn candles during the holidays to blow them out before leaving a room or going to sleep and to keep them away from things that might burn, including seasonal decorations.

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