Duchess of York in toilet-candle house-fire scare

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, nearly burnt her house down after leaving a candle alight in her toilet yesterday (29.01.08).

The 48-year-old duchess – the ex-wife of Prince Andrew – had left her Surrey country home, Dolphin House, to attend a meeting in London when a housekeeper smelt smoke and raised the alarm.

Fire engines arrived at the scene and ten fire fighters quickly got the outbreak in the duchess’ bathroom under control.

However, Sarah still faces a bill of UKP20,000 for fire and smoke damage. A fire brigade officer told The Sun: “The duchess may not feel that lucky right now but this fire could have been much worse.

“If the housekeeper had not been there to react so quickly the fire could have destroyed much more than a bathroom suite. The cause is being investigated but the early indication is that it may have been the lighted candle.”

It is not thought Sarah’s children, Princesses Beatrice, 19, and Eugenie, 17, were at the property when the fire started.

The duchess’ spokesperson said: “We can confirm there was a fire at Dolphin House and the fire brigade was called.”