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St. Paul family leave candles unattended, lose home to Christmas Eve fire

ST. PAUL - A Christmas Eve fire started by unattended candles rendered a home in St. Paul’s Summit-University neighborhood uninhabitable.

The Dec. 24 fire broke out at a residence in the 500 block of Mackubin Street.

St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said the family lit some candles on a hutch in the living room and left for dinner at a neighbor’s. The candles likely set some nearby holiday greenery on fire. When the family returned shortly after 10 p.m., the fire had spread through the house.

“One of the reasons we have more structure fires around the holidays is the wider use of candles,” Zaccard said. “Obviously, we don’t recommend you leave candles unattended.”

Zaccard said the fire was quickly suppressed, but it had had “a good start.” He estimated damage to be around $200,000. There were no injuries sustained in connection with the fire.