Bedroom fire caused by sunlight on mirror

Thu 1 Jun, 2017

A fire at a house in Milton Keynes today started after sunrays were reflected on to a cardboard box by a mirror.

Crews from Great Holm and Newport Pagnell were called to a two-storey house in Russell Street, Stony Stratford, shortly after 10am. The occupant was alerted by a smell of burning coming from upstairs.

Crew Commander David Pike from Great Holm Fire Station said: “The fire was in a bedroom and was out when we arrived, but it had started to melt some candles and burn a cardboard box containing rolled-up wallpaper.”

Nationally, a number of house fires - including some that have destroyed homes - have been caused by the effects of sunlight on glass paperweights, make-up and shaving mirrors or decorative “bottle effect” windows. 

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is called to an average of about two of these fires every year.

In October 2015, a fire at another house in Stony Stratford started after sunrays were concentrated on to paperwork after passing through a glass paperweight.

In October last year, sunlight reflecting off a make-up mirror started a fire which severely damaged a flat in Beaconsfield.

David said: “We are advising people to take extra care, particularly with glass objects such as paperweights and mirrors. Keep them out of contact with direct sunlight, and never put them on or near window sills."

If you would like a free assessment of the fire risks in your home, and free smoke alarms where necessary, ring the Home Fire Risk Check hotline on 01296 744477 or email

The mirror and candles are pictured above and the box and wallpaper below.