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Nativity boy badly burned as candle sets costume alight

Incident: A fire crew at the church

SCHOOLS are being warned to stop using real candles at festive events after a young boy was left with severe burns when his nativity costume caught fire.

The boy, who is believed to be aged between seven and ten, had to be airlifted to hospital after the accident at Our Lady of the Annunciation Church in Croydon, south London.

He remains in a critical but stable condition. A man and a woman were also taken to hospital having suffered burns while trying to help the St Thomas Becket primary pupil.

London Fire Brigade’s Dan Daly said: ‘This horrific accident is a stark reminder of the risk real candles can pose. They are a completely unnecessary hazard when it comes to children and school plays.

‘People should not be using real candles when there are far safer alternatives available.’

Headteacher Noel Campbell said: ‘Our whole school community is devastated by the incident that occurred at our carol service. Our thoughts and prayers are with the child and his family at this difficult time.’