A blaze which tore through a family home in Twickenham was caused by sunlight refracted through a glass jar on a window sill. The fire took hold on Sunday 15th February at the home of the Murphy family in Fielding Avenue in Twickenham and caused substantial damage to the property and led to the death of the family’s pet dog, Chilli. Mr and Mrs Murphy and their two children (aged 7 and 3) were not at home at the time. London Fire Brigade investigators identified a glass Nutella jar which was being used to hold ‘loom bands’ as the source of the fire. The combination of sun’s rays and glass jar were sufficient to cause blinds in a bedroom to catch fire.
The fire brigade has advised people to be aware of the risks presented by glass and crystal left in direct sunlight. News websites quote the fire brigade as saying that in the last five years there have been 125 fires caused by the sun’s rays and that these can occur in winter as well as in summer. This sad and bizarre story has now even made the news in the USA and Australia.