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Mirror’s reflection starts house fire

PUBLISHED: 19:46 02 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:32 03 December 2018

Part of the desk at the Walton-on-the-Naze address had to be cut away after sunlight from a mirror caused it to catch fire Picture: ESSEX FIRE AND RESCUE

Part of the desk at the Walton-on-the-Naze address had to be cut away after sunlight from a mirror caused it to catch fire Picture: ESSEX FIRE AND RESCUE

Archant

Residents were lucky to escape unharmed after sunlight on a mirror caused a desk to catch alight at an Essex property.

Despite the cold December weather, clear skies allowed enough sunlight to hit a mirror through an open window at a home in Third Avenue, Walton-on-the-Naze, that caused the office furniture in the room to burst into flames.

Firefighters were called to reports of the fire at around 11.15am on December 2, discovering a fire in a bedroom in a detached two-storey house. No one was injured and the house escaped major damage.

Fire crews cut the burning area of the desk away and used positive pressure ventilation fans to clear the room of smoke.

Crews at the scene also found that the house had no smoke alarms fitted.

An Essex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman warned of the potential dangers of mirrors, saying: “This shows how easy it is for magnifying or reflective objects to cause fires.”

“Please ensure there are no such objects on your window sills or anywhere in your home where they are in direct sunlight.”

Crews at the scene also found that the house had no smoke alarms fitted, meaning the people inside may not have realised there was a fire until it was much more serious.

The fire service offer to fit working smoke alarms in any home for free by signing up for a fire safety visit.

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