Sheffield man issues urgent warning after ‘silly’ Chinese lantern sets roof on fire

A Sheffield man has warned people of the dangers of setting off Chinese lanterns after one landed on his roof and burst into flames.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 11:52 am

Graham Gunner, of Millhouses, said he was upstairs in his house at around 10.30pm yesterday (June 3) when he heard a ‘bang’ on the roof and saw the flames through the skylight.

He managed to get out and pour water onto it, putting it out, but said it could have been much worse if it landed elsewhere and he had not noticed it as quickly as he did.

"There were about five inches of flame,” he said. “But the worry is that if it had landed a few feet closer to the garden it would have landed on the children’s playhouse and that would have been catastrophic.

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The part of the lantern that is set alight, which landed on Graham's roof.

"I thought they had been banned. People should be more careful and think of the consequences. I’ve been told of cases where people have lost their lives and horses have had to be put down because they were so badly burned by Chinese lanterns.

"They are silly things and should not be allowed.”

According to the RSPCA sky lanterns aren't currently banned in England or Scotland. Wales have banned the use of them on all council land since February 2018.

A Chinese lantern, or sky lantern

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “For a number of years, The RSPCA and other organisations have campaigned for England to implement the same ban on all council land and seen some success.”

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue did not attend the incident as Mr Gunner put our the fire himself.