Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Sunlight causes fire in Ongar

Mayflower Court, Ongar
14/06/2022 @ 09:35
Incident Number: 169847
In attendance: 1 x Harlow, 1 x Epping

Firefighters were called to a property in Ongar at 9:35am this morning, after sunlight was refracted by a mirror and caused a fire.

On entering the property, firefighters confirmed there was a fire in the lounge and the property was heavily smoke-logged.

Crews worked to extinguish the fire by 10:12am, and cleared the property of smoke.

Watch Manager, Mark Curtis, at Harlow Fire Station, said: “It’s very rare we attend an incident where a fire has been caused by sunlight, but that’s exactly what happened today!

“Fortunately, this property had working smoke alarms which alerted a neighbour to the fire. We were able to extinguish the fire quickly and damage was contained to the lounge.”

Do you have mirrors and glass objects in your home? We recommend that you:

  • Keep magnifying mirrors out of direct sunlight
  • Never put glass ornaments or paperweights on window sills or in direct sunlight
  • Make sure shaving or vanity mirrors are not left on window sills
  • Be aware of glass or mirrored objects in your home that may be exposed to direct sunlight, even if only for a part of the day

Do you have working smoke alarms in your home?

We recommend you have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home.

You can book a free Home Fire Safety visit by either popping into your local fire station, calling 0300 303 0088 or booking a visit online at

Could you be an on-call firefighter?

Some of the firefighters who attended this incident are on-call firefighters, who live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station and are paid to attend incidents in their community.

If you live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station, you could be an on-call firefighter.

Find out more about the role at

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