MIDDLEBORO — Officials say a Middleboro fire that injured a resident and a state trooper and left 13 people displaced early this morning started with an unattended candle in a second-floor living room.

Middleboro Fire Chief Lance Benjamino and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said in a joint press release Tuesday that the destructive candle fire comes just two days after a fatal fire in Kingston caused by a candle claimed a woman's life.

The Middleboro fire started just after 1 a.m. Tuesday at the Acorn Hill Home, a veterans home on West Grove Street.

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One resident was hospitalized with serious injuries after he was rescued by state trooper John Hagerty, who was himself hospitalized and treated for smoke inhalation before being released.

Two other occupants received minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

The resident and 12 others who evacuated the home have all been displaced after the fire, which severely damaged the building.

“As we saw here, the flame from one small candle can cause a fire that destroys a home,” said Benjamino.

“Given the early hour, we’re very lucky more people weren’t injured or worse," he added. "Always exercise caution with candles, and never leave a burning candle unattended.”

“We want to remind everyone to extinguish candles and incense before leaving the room or going to sleep,” said Ostroskey.

The fire marshal went on to recommend residents put candles in sturdy holders or nonflammable saucers before lighting them.

"Keep them out of areas where they might be bumped or knocked over, and always keep anything that can burn at least a foot away,” he advised.

The cause of the fire was investigated by the Middleboro Fire Department and the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office.

For more candle safety tips, visit the Department of Fire Services’ website or mass.gov.

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