Sunlight on mirror believed to have caused flat fire

Mon 10 Oct, 2016

Sunlight reflecting off a make-up mirror is believed to have caused a fire at a flat in Beaconsfield this afternoon.

Crews from Beaconsfield, High Wycombe and Amersham, as well as an officer, were called to the incident in Ledborough Lane at 1.12pm.

Watch Commander Paul Casey, from Beaconsfield Fire Station, said: "We are advising people to take extra care, particularly with glass objects such as mirrors which have a magnified side. Keep them out of contact with direct sunlight, and never put them on or near window sills.

"The mirror at this property was on the floor with the magnifying side facing the window. We believe it concentrated the sunlight on to the curtains, which then caught fire.

"The fire was only going for a short period of time, but it caused a significant amount of damage to the flat, 80 per cent of which was damaged by fire, and 20 per cent by smoke. The smoke had also spread to the adjoining corridors."

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two main jets, a hose reel and a fan. The neighbouring flats were evacuated and no-one was injured.

Nationally, a number of house fires - including some that have destroyed homes - have been caused by the effects of sunlight on make-up and shaving mirrors, or decorative “bottle effect” windows. Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has been called to a number of these fires over the past few years.

If you would like a free assessment of the fire risks in your home, and free smoke alarms where necessary, ring the home safety check hotline on 01296 744477, email or view our Book a Free Home Safety Check page.