UK fire officers call for paper lantern review

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Associated Press

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 6:03 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 2 at 6:30 AM

LONDON (AP) — British firefighters are calling for people not to use paper lanterns after they were blamed for a huge fire in central England.

The Chief Fire Officers' Association said in a statement Tuesday that paper lanterns — heated by candles and launched into the air during celebrations — can cause significant damage.

Video evidence has shown that a large blaze at a plastic recycling plant near the city of Birmingham on Monday was started by a paper lantern that floated over the site.

Over 200 firefighters fought the blaze, which caused 6 million pounds ($9.1 million) in damage.

The fire officers said that as well as being a fire hazard to everything from thatched roofs to hazardous waste, paper lanterns also posed a risk to livestock.

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