A WOMAN has spoken of her horror as a candle blew up in her living room and caused a blaze which damaged her carpet.
Tracy Dawson (pictured) is now too scared to light a candle again. She is upset that Asda has taken six weeks to reply to her complaint and is refusing to pay for a new carpet herself.
Tracy, 35, of Avondale Road, Fleet, purchased the large church-style candle from Asda in Westmead, Farnborough.
When it had burnt halfway down it suddenly exploded, leapt two feet up a wall and then landed on the carpet, starting a small fire.
Hot wax sprayed everywhere but luckily Miss Dawson was able to douse the flames with a bowl of water before they spread out of control.
She said: "It could have been fatal. I could have had children in there and Asda are treating it as if it is a broken toy.
"They sent it off for investigation and said it was the supplier's fault.
"They said they have none in stock now but I do not know if they have warned other customers who purchased one.
"They even said that they have cancelled their order for Christmas candles from the same supplier, so they have taken it seriously but not with me.
"They have not offered me any recompense or a new carpet."
She added: "They admitted fault and said if anything needs replacing to send it to them.
"But I could get a new carpet and they could say we are not paying the full amount."
Miss Dawson said she has made numerous calls to Asda asking to speak to a manager, but has yet to receive a reply.
She says she has stopped shopping there and added: "For a big company to ignore this is disgusting — I wonder if they would have listened if someone was burnt.
"It is really upsetting. I am too scared to light a candle now — I don't think I will ever again. This has frightened me.
"They have made no real apology and I still have the wrecked carpet in my living room.
"I don't see why I should have to pay for it or claim it on my insurance, which would mean paying the excess and my premiums going up, when it was their product that caused it."
It was only when the News contacted Asda's press office that Miss Dawson was finally given some hope of an end to the impasse, as a spokesman promised the company would pay for a new carpet in full.
He said: "Our head office did send a letter to Miss Dawson that asked her to contact them with any bills in regard to the damage.
"However I understand it must be daunting for her to do that, so I have asked a customer service representative to telephone Miss Dawson to resolve this to her full satisfaction."
But as the News went to press on the afternoon of May 15 Miss Dawson had not received that telephone call.