A Burleson woman says she is recovering from excruciating burns after flames from a Bath & Body Works 3-wick candle burst in her face when she tried to blow the candle out.
Ashley Brawley ended up in the hospital and now wants to know if the candle was defective.
“I would’ve never imagine in a million years that I would walk in and it would be in flames,” said Brawley. “I’ll never use a candle again. Ever. I mean, it scared me.”
Burn marks on her face are a reminder of what she says happened Sunday afternoon at home after lighting a Bath & Body Works vanilla bean noel-scented candle. The incident was partially captured on home surveillance video.
“I was in the restroom. I was blow drying my hair, my two-year-old was sitting on the counter watching me and I smelled something burning,” she said.
“I walked in the living room and that’s when I saw the candle. It was in flames. I blew on it about three or four times and the last time I blew, it just went all up in my face... I immediately started screaming.”
Her husband Cody then ran in.
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“Embarrassing as it is, I put water on it and it [the flames grew larger] you know and apparently you don’t do that. After reading the bottom [of the candle] it does tell you that... The thing was burning hot so I grabbed the oven mitts and walked outside and hit it with the water hose.”
He says when the cold water hit the 3-wick candle, it exploded into several pieces the couple showed NBC 5.
Ashley was hospitalized with first- and second-degree burns to her forehead, cheek, nose, and lip.
“My whole face was throbbing and it was burning,” she said.
So what happened to the candle? Is there anything they could’ve done differently?
Asked how she typically put out the candle, Ashley responded, “I blow it out.”
Cody posted two clips of the incident on Facebook and received many comments, including criticism from people. The footage may be difficult for some viewers to watch.
“A lot of people say ‘use the lid that was on the candle.’ As far as that goes, I could’ve done the lid but with six-inch flame, it was kind of hard,” said Ashley.
“I feel like if I would’ve done that I would have burned my hand. I would’ve dropped it. Something would’ve caught on fire in the house.”
Ashley says the candle had been burning for 3 hours and 20 minutes, according to their home surveillance system.
Instructions on the back of the candle state: Do not burn for more than three to four hours at a time. It also states: keep out of drafts and flammable items and burn within sight.
“We trimmed the wicks every time,” said Cody. “We knocked that ball off because it’ll spark on you, the whole 9 yards, you know what I mean? We’ve done everything that any normal, sane person would do and that’s what happened and it scares me to death.”
Ashley says she hopes others will learn from this and avoid her painful experience.
“It’s hard, but it’ll get better,” she said.
NBC 5 researched this particular candle on the product safety website, saferproducts.gov.
We found several similar complaints about the three-wick candle where users said the flame in their candles grew much higher than normal.
Bath & Body Works has responded by saying they do extensive testing under ‘rigorous burn conditions’ and meet all applicable industry and governmental standards. They also say the candle was not currently on a recall list.
NBC 5 checked area burn units and no one has reported any other similar situations.
Bath & Body Works released a statement to NBC 5 concerning Ashley Brawley’s allegations.
"We are very sorry that this happened and are taking this situation extremely seriously. The safety of our customers is our number one priority, and we are actively working to learn more details from the customer."