March 11 2014 Latest news:
by John Toner, Reporter
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
A man and woman escaped their home unharmed after a fire was started - by a crystal ball.
The sun’s rays refracted through the ornament setting light to the curtains, before spreading to the rest of the room, at the house in Waterside Close, Harold Wood, on Saturday.
The residents attempted to tackle the fire with a garden hose and towels before realising the fire was too severe and calling the brigade.
The man had been asleep after a night shift and was woken up by a smoke alarm.
Now firefighters are reminding people not to keep glass bottles or ornaments on window sills following the blaze.
Fire investigation officer, Mick Boyle from London Fire Brigade, said: “The blaze caused severe damage to the bedroom but thankfully no one was hurt. The man, who was asleep in the bedroom when the fire started, was woken up by the smoke alarm going off. That smoke alarm saved his life – he could easily have slept through and been overcome by smoke.
“You can’t predict the future, but you can prevent this type of fire by keeping glass ornaments, mirrors, and bottles away from sunny window sills.
“You should never try and fight a fire yourself – they can develop very quickly and you can really put yourself in danger. Garden hoses and towels are never going to be enough to extinguish a blaze like this, so the best thing you can do is close the door on the fire, get out, stay out, and dial 999.”
Fire crews were called at 3.49pm and the blze was under control at 4.46pm.