Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Mirror sparks house fire

A fire investigation has revealed that a fire which left a young couple homeless was started by sunlight reflecting from a magnifying mirror.

Crews were called to the first floor flat in Walton on the Naze on Saturday May 2. When they arrived they found the flat completely alight and the fire spreading into the roof area.

An investigation into the cause of the fire has found that it was started by a magnifying mirror kept by a window. The mirror reflected the sun’s rays onto a the widow sill starting the fire.

Assistant Divisional Officer Simon Dedman said: “The mirror was on the window sill of a south east facing window which got uninterrupted sunlight all morning. The mirror reflected the light onto the wooden window sill it was on starting the fire.

“The flat was completely destroyed and the couple who live there lost almost all of their possessions.

“This incident is unusual but by no means the only time a fire has started like this. It was a two sided mirror with one side magnified and that was the side facing the sun. If people have mirrors like this in their homes they need to make sure that they are careful about where they keep them.

“Make sure they aren’t sitting for long periods on direct sunlight and that they don’t reflect light onto combustible materials like curtains or cushions.”

 

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