Caught on Camera: Smoke Detector Saves a Family

The Chanukah miracle nearly became a Chanukah tragedy when a menorah, full for the 8th night of Chanukah became a conflagration, nearly lighting a house on fire while the family was inside.


A horrifying incident occurred when a menorah, full for the 8th night of Chanukah, went from eight separate lights, to one big bonfire.

The menorah can be seen on a Nest home camera melting down, the burning oil dripping onto the floor. The floor soon catches fire, sending smoke into the air.

Thankfully, a working smoke detector alerted a family member, who quickly ran downstairs and attempted to extinguish the flames.

When blowing on them didn’t work, he ran to the kitchen, where he grabbed a fire extinguisher, and put out the flames.


  • 1. School Project Menorahs are Often Problematic wrote:

    I’ve had several catch fire. The later versions are starting to use metal nuts on tile, which is a big improvement, but even those are sometimes stuck together with hot glue and at any rate, the candles melt from the heat and you can end up with a big fire log. Chidrens’ menorah projects from school often are best lit in an 8 x 13 pan to catch the runoff.

    Happy Chanuka!

  • 2. Firefighter with two sets of dishes wrote:

    As they say in the firehouse, you can’t fix stupid! Never light candles on a combustible surface, never leave candles unattended and when a fire alarm activates, evacuate at once and call the fire department from outside the house–even if you think the fire is out–the fire department will determine if it is actually out. Use of a fire extinguisher for an incipient fire may be the right thing to do, providing you have an exit to your back and the rest of the household is safely outside. Remember, fire doubles in size every thirty seconds and emits tonic gasses more deadly than the fire itself!

  • 3. Safety wrote:

    Many oil menorahs still have plastic holders. They once caught on fire by me. But very important. Never leave a menorah unatended. And never a plastic table cloth. Foil.

  • 4. Moshe (HaLevi) Sani wrote:


    A few rules of thumb we learned from HUD inspectors while I was trying to get some apartments for section 8:

    1. If you have a battery powered smoke alarm & it beeps every now & then, it means that it you need to replace the batteries

    2. If it’s a hard wired (electric powered) & it beeps every now & then, it means that it you need to replace the unit (smoke alarm) with a NEW one!

    3. Periodically, test your smoke alarm!

    4. Look inside your smoke alarm for a date! Btwn every 7 to 10 yrs (or 5 to 7 yrs, if you want to be safer), you’ll need to throw away your smoke alarm and replace it with a NEW one!


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