2 August 2011
Firefighters were called to a bed and breakfast premises in Olney yesterday evening after sunlight reflected off a dressing-table mirror and set fire to a pair of curtains.
Crews from Newport Pagnell and Broughton attended the incident, in the second-floor bedroom of a two-storey mid-terrace house in High Street, at about 6.30pm.
The occupants, who were alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm, used a fire extinguisher while firefighters were on their way.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a hose reel and two dry powder extinguishers to put out the fire, a large fan to clear the smoke and a thermal imaging camera to check for hot-spots.
Watch Manager Mark Robinson from Newport Pagnell Fire Station said: “The curtain and pelmet were destroyed and there were burns on the carpet where material had fallen down, and a lot of smoke damage to the room.
“Once again, working smoke alarms have played a significant part in alerting people to a fire in the early stages before it is able to take hold.”
Chris Bailey, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “Fires of this type are rare, as they require so many variables to fall into place, including the angle of the sun and the positioning of the mirror and the combustible items.
“However, we are advising people to take extra care, particularly with convex and concave shaving or make-up mirrors. Keep them out of contact with direct sunlight, and never put them on 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 safety check hotline on 01296 744477, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bucksfire.gov.uk/bucksfire/free