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Three house fires in one weekend in Prince George's County

Monday - 3/24/2014, 5:14am  ET

WASHINGTON -- Three weekend house fires in Prince George's County started the same way: burning candles left unattended.

No one was hurt in the separate fires, but the collective damage exceeds $170,000, and families have had to find a new place to stay for some time.

"All three of these fires could have been prevented," says Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George's County Fire Department.

The fires broke out in Temple Hills, Laurel and Woodmore.

"The No. 1 thing we recommend with candles: if you must burn a candle, do not leave that candle," he says.

"If you leave the bedroom, if you leave the living room -- wherever that candle might be burning -- you need to blow it out."

A third of candle-ignited fires in Prince George's County start in bedrooms, according to the fire department. The threat is only heightened by the presence of combustibles such as bedding, clothing, carpet and drapes.

In the house fire in Woodmore, which caused more than $100,000 in damage, a working smoke alarm helped the family evacuate in time.

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