Mirror near window reflecting sunlight caused fire which gutted Walton-on-the-Naze flat

The extensive damage caused by the fire in a flat in Walton-on-the-Naze's High Street

The extensive damage caused by the fire in a flat in Walton-on-the-Naze's High Street - Credit: Archant

A senior fire officer has issued a warning to the public after a magnifying mirror reflecting the sun’s rays caused a fire which destroyed a young couple’s home.

The incident in Walton-on-the-Naze happened on May 2 and caused substantial damage to the couple’s flat which was completely alight when fire crews arrived.

An investigation into the cause of the fire has now found it was started by a magnifying mirror kept by a window.

The mirror reflected the sun’s rays onto a the window sill, starting the fire.

Assistant divisional officer Simon Dedman said: “The mirror was on the window sill of a south east facing window which got uninterrupted sunlight all morning.

“The mirror reflected the light onto the wooden window sill it was on, starting the fire.

“The flat was completely destroyed and the couple who live there lost almost all of their possessions.

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“This incident is unusual but by no means the only time a fire has started like this.

“It was a two sided mirror with one side magnified and that was the side facing the sun.

“If people have mirrors like this in their homes they need to make sure that they are careful about where they keep them.

“Make sure they aren’t sitting for long periods on direct sunlight and that they don’t reflect light onto combustible materials like curtains or cushions.”

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