A grandfather with dementia has been rescued from a house fire by a relative after his birthday candles had set his Colorado home alight.
Security footage shows Lawrence Peters eating and watching the fire burn the curtains. The former Denver police sergeant was saved when a relative returned to the house after forgetting her wallet.
In an interview with KALB, Peters’ grandson, Aaron Richardville, said: “It just did not register for him. He did not realize the danger, and that is just the way that dementia works.”
He also said that if it weren’t for his aunt returning and finding the fire they ‘wouldn’t have been able to get in here’ only thirty seconds later.
The flames engulfed the room in only two minutes.
The security footage shows Peters eating as the curtain blows over the candle next to the side table. Even when the top of the curtains started burning, Peters did not react and just watched the flames as it grew.
Aaron’s aunt then returned into the room as she forgot her purse, and that’s when she discovered the fire and rescued Peters.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire.
“It was the most frightening thing I have ever been through. The flames just started pouring out of the top, and it went so fast before there was anything we could even do about it,” Aaron said.
“People are the only things that are important, the possessions, everything that we have here can be replaced.
“I will never light another candle in my house again.”
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