A POOLE teenager who woke up because he was feeling too hot in his bed found his duvet cover had caught fire.

Jack Dunford, 14, had left a small citronella candle alight on his windowsill in Ponsonby Road, Parkstone, to keep mosquitoes at bay after being badly bitten.

Although Jack cleared the windowsill, his dad Chris believes he may have accidentally knocked the candle as he slept in the early hours of yesterday morning “He’s a restless sleeper. He got extremely hot, which woke him up,” said Mr Dunford.

“He came out screaming. His mum ran in, saw the corner of the duvet alight and picked up the other end to try and put it out. It just went ‘whoosh’.”

His wife Di said: “I just thought: ‘Try and cover the flames’, but it just went, then the curtains went.”

The family escaped from their house safely.

Some of the neighbours were awoken by a bang as the top sealed section of the double glazed bedroom window exploded in the heat of the fire.

Mr Dunford, who works for a building company, fought the fire with two extinguishers from the back of his van.

“I had nearly put it out by the time the fire brigade arrived. They did a fantastic job,” he said.

Jack, who goes to Poole High School, was taken to hospital by ambulance suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation, but was allowed home a few hours later.

“We’re very lucky that the fire didn’t kill him,” said his dad.

The fire badly damaged Jack’s bed and bedroom and there was smoke damage throughout the upstairs.

Fire officers revisited the Dunfords’ home to fit two new smoke alarms.

The family, who have lived in the road for 14 years, have been heartened by the support of people in the area.

“Our neighbours are great. Everyone came out and offered to help,” said Mr Dunford. “We’ve had a total stranger knock on the door and ask: ‘Do you need anything?’”