Firefighters have issued a stark warning during the heatwave after two homes were destroyed by spearate fires sparked by the sun’s reflection.
On Monday crews were called to tackle a house blaze caused by sunlight reflecting from a glass table in the back garden.
A person was upstairs when the fire started, but was able to safely flee the semi-detached property before it spread.
Firefighters rushed to the home in Knypersley, Stoke-on-Trent at around 3.30pm and used breathing apparatus and hose reel jets to bring the blaze under control.
Less than 24 hours later a home in Barton-under-Needwood was set ablaze caused by sunlight which had shone on a mirror and ignited nearby materials.
Firefighters from Burton, Lichfield and Rugeley attended at 9.15am after resdients raised the alarm.
Crews found the fire in a first floor bedroom of the home – which is around 40 miles from Knypersley.
The service took to Twitter, posting an image of the damage from Monday’s fire, alongside the caption: "Please be careful in this #heatwave.
A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman later added: "Crews from Newcastle and Kidsgrove attended and the detached property was well alight on arrival.
"Some of the decking at the back of the house had to be cut away as crews extinguished the fire.
“It was caused by sunlight reflecting on a glass table outside in the back garden.
“The occupier was upstairs by managed to get out of the house safely.
"Please take care during this heatwave and be mindful of keeping reflective items, such as mirrors or glass, out of direct sunlight."
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service issued a further warning residents not to leave mirrors near windows after the two fires.
Station Manager John Kitchener said: “Many people don’t realise that sunlight can be extremely powerful and if reflected off the surface of a mirror it can produce enough heat to ignite flammable materials.
"Always keep reflective items such as mirrors away from direct sunlight.
"Special care should be taken with convex and concave shaving or make-up mirrors which can magnify the sun’s rays onto combustible items such as blinds, curtains or bedding, causing them to ignite.
Speaking about Tuesday’s fire he added: "Thankfully due to there being working smoke alarms in this home the occupants were alerted to the fire quickly.
"Despite this it developed quickly and spread to exposed timber beams and the roof space, causing significant damage.
“While dealing with the incident it was fantastic to see community spirit surface with local residents rallying together to provide us with refreshments, our crews were really touched by this kind gesture.”
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