Firefighters are warning people of the dangers of using weed burners in their gardens following a fire in Ellesmere Port.
The recent fire was caused by a homeowner using an electric device to kill weeds at the edge of his garden.
The weed burner ignited a wooden fence separating his garden from a neighbour’s address.
The fire quickly spread to the neighbour’s wooden shed that was up against the fence.
The resulting blaze destroyed the fence and the shed.
It spread to the exteriors of the houses at both addresses, as well as to a brick-built shed in the neighbour’s garden, before being extinguished by firefighters with hose reel jets.
The blaze caused significant damage to both addresses and firefighters are urging people to be cautious when using such garden gadgets.
Station Manager Carl Nevitt, who investigated the cause of the fire at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS), said: “This was the second of two accidental fires caused by a weed burner that our firefighters extinguished within a six-week timeframe.
“It caused significant damage to not only the owner’s address, but to his neighbour’s address as well.
“People need to be aware of the dangers of using such devices and of the need to read and follow the safety instructions that come with them.”
Group Manager Steve McCormick, of CFRS’s Prevention Department, added: “Weed burners are either powered by gas or electricity.
“Either way, they should only be used to burn weeds, and only when the weeds are a safe distance away from combustible materials.
“The devices are effective on weeds but are liable to cause burns if mishandled and can easily cause a fire in a garden, particularly in the dry spring and summer months.
“They can ignite surrounding dry materials and undergrowth around the target area.
“A garden hose or a watering can should be used to damp down areas that a weed burner has been used on, to reduce the risk of a fire.
“To further reduce the risk, gas powered weed burners with naked flames should not be used in windy conditions.
“If the hot end of the weed burner comes into direct contact with anything other than a weed, check for signs of ignition.
“Fire spreads quickly and can put lives as well as well as properties in danger.
“If a fire occurs in your garden, don’t try to extinguish it yourself. Get away from it, stay away from it and call us on 999.
“We also advise that weed burners be fully turned off and completely cooled before being put away. Residual heat may ignite surrounding combustibles and cause a fire.
“If a weed burner is powered by gas cylinders, make sure that these are stored away from heat sources and other combustibles.
“For specific fire safety advice regarding a particular weed burner, always read the instructions.”
Pictured - The weed burner that caused the fire in Ellesmere Port.